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Death toll in floods rises to 265, PM Modi says India stands by Kerala

The observation of Onam, the annual harvest festival, was subdued in Kerala, with 8.69 lakh people still in 2,287 relief camps.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2018 17:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kerala floods,Kerala flood,Kerala rains
An aerial view shows partially submerged road at a flooded area in Kerala.(REUTERS)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed his hope that the Onam festival will give new strength to Kerala’s people to overcome the adversities in the aftermath of the floods that have ravaged the state even as the toll in the August deluge rose to 265 while 36 were still missing.

“May this Onam give further strength to the people of Kerala to overcome the adversities they have been facing for the past few days,” Modi said in a tweet.

The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with Kerala and prays for the happiness as well as prosperity of its citizens, he said.

The death toll in the floods following an over week-long spell of rain beginning August 8 has risen to 265, according to the latest government figures, with the hilly Idukki district, a favourite for tourists, hit the hardest, reported PTI.

Read: Kerala needs ‘different yardstick’ for help, loss in flood incomparable: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Idukki, which also houses the largest arch dam in Asia from which waters were released for the first time in 26 years, accounts for 51 deaths and 10 still missing, as per the latest figures released by the Disaster Management State Control Room.

Thrissur has reported 43 deaths, Ernakulam 38, Alapuzha 34 and Malappuram has 30 fatalities.

The observation of Onam, the annual harvest festival, was subdued in the state, with 8.69 lakh people still in 2,287 relief camps, and those who have returned home facing damaged residences and lost belongings.

A government release issued late last night said the flood-hit areas would be recorded using a mobile app, with the help of voluntary organisations and local bodies and compensation would be distributed after this process.

A total of Rs 10,000 each would be transferred to the bank accounts of 3.91 lakh flood-affected families with Rs 242.73 crore from the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief fund (CMDRF) earmarked for the purpose, it said.

Certificates and lost documents of the flood-affected people would be retrieved from the database of various departments in the state, it said, adding the information technology and other departments were in the process of developing a software for the purpose.

Read: Clear and present warning: Kerala floods match climate change forecasts

Adalats would also be held from the first week of September to facilitate recovery of the documents, according to the release.

With the government emphasising sanitation activities to prevent outbreak of water-related diseases in flood-affected areas, a total of 1.31 lakh houses, about 31 per cent of total flood-hit buildings, have so far been cleaned.

The state government was also mulling interest-free loans of up to Rs 10 lakh for the flood-affected small scale industries, while declaring a moratorium was declared for agriculture loans by the government.

First Published: Aug 25, 2018 13:59 IST