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Kerala flood toll reaches 91

Kerala’s respite from rains turned out to be short lived as the weathermen issued a red alert in three districts of Ernakulam, Idukki and Alappuzha on Tuesday, even as the death toll due to flooding and landslides in the state rose to 91.

The Indian Meteorological Centre regional director K Santhosh said central Kerala will experience heavy showers, with some areas likely to get more than 20 cm of rain.

At least 51 people are still feared trapped under debris in two major landslides that occurred last week in Wayanad and Malappuram. In Kavalappara, one of the worst-hit spots in Malappuram, slush and debris travelled more than three kilometres taking residential colonies with it. In the past five days, at least 88 landslides have rocked the state. Over 250,000 people are staying in relief camps.

Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggesting that many lives can be saved if early warning systems are installed to alert people living in the ecologically sensitive hill district.

Both Maharashtra, where Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara were some of the worst affected districts, and Karnataka, where floods devastated coastal and northern parts of the state, sought relief from the Centre. Maharashtra, where the death toll now stands at 49, sought ₹6,814 crore, estimating losses of over ₹2000 crore in crops alone. Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa said that the state suffered losses of more than ₹50,000 crore and requested the Centre to release ₹10,000 crore for relief work.

Over 650,000 people were evacuated in Maharashtra, as life came to a standstill in large parts of northern Maharashtra and the Konkan region. Nearly 677,000 people have been evacuated in Karnataka, with close to 400,000 living in 1224 relief camps. All major reservoirs in the state are reportedly full.

At least eight people were killed in Odisha due to heavy rains on Tuesday. The collectors of Khurda, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts have been advised to strengthen river bank patrolling as more than 1 million cusec water will flow in Mahanadi on August 15, after the sluice gates of Hirakud Dam are opened on Wednesday.

As water from the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur, Tamil Nadu, was released on Tuesday (it would be released for another 137 days), Erode and Namakkal residents have been issued a red alert.

With the water level in the Bhakra dam reservoir in Himachal Pradesh rising a foot a day the past week, the Bhakra Beas Management Board is preparing to open the floodgates if the level goes up another 10 feet and breaches its critical point of 1,680 feet.

First Published:
Aug 14, 2019 01:14 IST

Source: HindustanTimes