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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Kerala flood toll reaches 91, IMD issues red alert

india Updated: Aug 14, 2019 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: After a day-long respite rains return to hound Kerala as weathermen issued red alert in three districts, Ernakulam, Idukki and Alappuzha on Tuesday even as the flood toll in north Kerala rose to 91.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has visited the worst-hit Wayanad and Malappuram districts in north Kerala and assured people that his government will do everything to minimise their sufferings. “We understand your pain. We will be with you. United, we will come out of this trauma soon,” the CM said as those affected narrated their woes before him.

The relatives of those missing in landslides were seen pleading with him to expedite the ongoing rescue works. The copious rains that lashed north Kerala abated a bit in last two days helping authorities to speed up debris and slush removal work. At least 51 people are still trapped under debris.

The Indian Meter logical Centre regional director K Santhosh said low pressure over the Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify in next two days and central Kerala will experience heavy showers. He said some of the areas are likely to get more than 20 cms of rain. As clouds cleared on Tuesday, many people returned home from relief centres but the latest Met warning has left them worried. More than 2.50 lakh people are in relief camps.

Besides red alert in three districts yellow alert was sounded in five districts. At least six districts have announced holiday for educational institutions. The state disaster management authority said 808 houses were completely destroyed and more than 9000 were partially damaged in latest flood. Many people complained that the tragedy struck them when they were about to piece together their lives after the last year’s floods.

Besides their dwelling, in landslides most of them lost their land also. Small and big, 88 landslides took place in last five days. But the saving grace is that many dam-catchment areas received moderate rainfalls forcing authorities not to open shutters of many dams. Last year flood situation was aggravated after two dozen dams were opened simultaneously.

As against the 2018 floods, this time most of those dead have fallen victim to the landslides. In Kavalappara, one of the worst-hit spots in Malappuram, slush and debris travelled more than three kms taking with it colonies of human habitation.

Meanwhile the BJP has brushed aside the criticism of the CPI(M) that opposition-ruled states were neglected by the Centre. “The CM said more than once that he was satisfied with the Centre’s intervention. Sad, party politburo is playing politics,” said Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, hailing from the state. He said he will visit affected areas on Friday. Politburo had criticised Home Minister Amit Shah for not visiting Kerala after he had an aerial survey of flood- affected areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra.


First Published: Aug 14, 2019 00:03 IST

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