As death toll in Kerala rises to 90, fresh alert issued in three districts
New Delhi, Aug 13: With the rains relenting after battering the southern states over the past few days, rescue and relief works are on in full swing in flood-ravaged districts of Kerala and Karnataka.
In Kerala, authorities are scouring landslide-hit Kavalappara and Puthumala in Malappuram and Wayanad districts, the worst hit, to trace over 50 people missing since August 8.
The weather office on Tuesday issued a fresh red alert for Kerala with rains battering the central districts. The alert was issued for Idukki, Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts as CM visited Wayanad and Malappuram (in north Kerala), that have borne the brunt of monsoon rains, and assured people that his government will do everything to alleviate their sufferings.
Malappuram was rocked by a series of landslips triggered by heavy rain since August 8 at Kavalappara and Kottakunnu in which 27 people have died.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan toured the worst-hit areas in the second straight year of floods that have left 90 people dead and many missing. "We understand your pain and agony. We will be with you. United, we will come out of this tragedy soon," the CM said as those affected narrated their woes before him.
The relatives of those missing in Wayanad landslides were seen pleading with him to expedite the ongoing rescue works. The copious rains that lashed Kerala have abated a bit helping authorities to speed up debris removal work. At least 40 people are still feared trapped under debris. Over 2.55 lakh people have sought refuge in 1,413 relief camps.
As against the 2018 floods, this time most of those dead have fallen victim to the landslides.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also visited relief camps and flood-hit areas in his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, including worst-hit Puthumala, and interacted with people.
In neighbouring Karnataka, according to official information, the death toll was 48 till Monday evening, while 12 were still missing. Yediyurappa, who is touring flood-hit areas of Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru districts, expressed hope that the situation in flood-hit parts will be back to normal in four to six days as there had been a let-up in the rains.
The chief minister has also announced Rs 1 lakh to those whose houses have been damaged, to take up repair work, and Rs 5,000 monthly to those staying in rental accommodation till their houses are ready.
A total of 2,694 villages in 86 taluks of 17 districts in Karnataka have been affected due to floods and rains.
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release Rs 5,000 crore as interim relief to the state and to notify the floods as a "national calamity."
Fire and Emergency services, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Army personnel are carrying out rescue and relief operations.