Floods 2019: Situation Improves in Kerala and Karnataka, Rescue Operations Continue
Image Courtesy: Money Control
As rains subsided in many parts of the flood-hit states where over 1.2 million people have been affected, the water level has started receding in the deluge-ravaged areas. Following the subsided rains, rescue operations were stepped up on Tuesday, August 13, in flood-hit Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, the four states where nearly 227 people have perished so far, while nine people were killed in landslides in Uttarakhand and Jammu in heavy rains.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Indian Air Force (IAF), state disaster response forces and local administration are providing relief and conducting rescue operations in the states hit by monsoon fury.
In Kerala, the death toll rose to 89 and 2.87 lakh people have sought refuge in relief camps, an official said, adding that the toll may go up as over 50 people are still missing in Malappuram and Wayanad.
Though the rains in northern districts of the state have subsided, red alert has been issued for Idukki, Ernakulam and Alappuzha on Tuesday and Wednesday. Red alert has also been issued for Malappuram and Kozhikode on August 14, Wednesday. Since rest of the districts are under orange alert, the people and authority are alerted.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited the camps in Meppadi in Wayanad district and Nilambur in Malappuram district. Puthumala village in Meppadi area and Kavalappara in Nilambur region, where the landslide had washed out entire villages claiming more than 30 lives so far, are the worst hit places. About 40 people from Kavalappara and about 8 people from Puthumala are still missing.
“There are people who have lost their dear ones, people who have lost their houses and land, people who have lost their means of livelihood. But together we can overcome all these difficulties,” said the Chief Minister while addressing the inmates in a relief camp housed at Meppadi Government Higher Secondary School.
"The state government will do everything possible to give maximum help and support to all, so that they come back to normal life very quickly. Our first task is to complete the rescue operations and then we will shift our focus to extensive rehabilitation work," Vijayan assured.
Massive rescue operations are still going on at Puthumala and Kavalapara, where about 50 people are feared to be trapped under the debris.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also visited flood affected areas in his Lok Sabha constituency, Wayanad on Monday, including the worst-hit Puthumala area, and assured all help to those hit by the calamity to rebuild their lives.
On the other hand, Kerala Police on Monday registered 19 cases related to fake news and hate campaigns against the ongoing flood relief works. Following the floods that have ravaged the state, fake news and hate campaigns against the relief works and chief minister’s distress relief fund (CMDRF) have been doing rounds across various social media platforms.
"The cases have been registered for spreading false campaigns on the relief works and all such people would be arrested and proceeded against as per the law," said the state police chief Loknath Behera.
In Karnataka, 80 taluks in 17 districts have been affected due to floods and rains, and the state government has put the death toll at 48 and those missing at 12.
Also read: Rain Fury Kills Over 700 in 10 States
The state government on Monday announced an assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to those who have lost their houses completely in the floods and landslides, to take up construction work, Rs 1 lakh to those, whose houses were damaged and Rs 5,000 monthly to those staying in rental accommodations till their houses are ready.
Due to the deluge, a total of 5,81,702 people have been evacuated till Saturday evening and 1,168 relief camps have been opened where 3,27,354 people are taking shelter.
In Maharashtra, the death toll increased to 43 on Monday and as on Sunday nearly 4.48 lakh people were evacuated from flood-hit areas, including 400,000 from Kolhapur and Sangli, officials said, adding that 761 villages in 69 taluks have been affected by floods.
They were shifted to 372 temporary camps and shelters.
In Gujarat, where nearly 31 people have died in rain-related incidents in the last five days, efforts are on to trace and rescue fishermen of two missing boats.
Heavy rainfall was recorded in parts of Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand in the east and also in areas of northeast India, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Rainfall was also reported from parts of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
In the hill state of Uttarakhand, which is being lashed by heavy rains, six persons, including a woman and her nine-month-old daughter, were buried alive in landslides in three different villages in Chamoli district.
Erosion caused by swirling waters of the flooded Chuflagad River also washed away two buildings on its banks.
The state emergency operation centre in Dehradun said the debris of landslides fell on three houses in Banjabgad, Aligaon and Lankhi villages in the district's Ghat area trapping the occupants. The six people suffocated to death, the centre said.
In Jammu and Kashmir, three members of a family died after they came under a boulder during a landslide in Resai district. Two others were also injured in the incident that took place on Sunday evening in Laar village in the district's Mahore belt.
In states hit by floods, several roads were cleared on Monday, allowing partial movement of traffic, with priority being given to trucks carrying essential goods.
Precaution is being maintained in the deluge-hit states as most rivers are in a spate and reservoirs at the danger mark.
(With inputs from PTI)
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