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Kerala floods highlights: PM Modi arrives to take stock of situation

Torrential rains in Kerala have claimed over 170 lives, destroyed crops, and disrupted air, rail and road traffic within the state for a week.

By HT Correspondent | Aug 18, 2018 00:04 IST

The unprecedented rains and floods in Kerala have claimed over 324 lives in the state since May 29, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday while calling for more donations to his relief fund.

The deadly deluge in close to a century has destroying standing crops in thousands of hectares and inflicting huge damage to state infrastructure. The Kochi airport has been shut till August 26.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kerala on Friday night to take stock of the situation.

Here are the highlights:

11:12pm IST

Chengannur MLA Saju Cherian appeals for help

In a Facebook post, Chengannur MLA Saji Cherian appealed for urgent help in the region. “Please send helicopter. I beg you. People here will die. There is no option other than airlifting people to rescue them. We need the army here. WQe will die. Please help up.”

11:09pm IST

PM Modi arrives in Kerala

11:06pm IST

Railways dispatching water bottles to Palakkad

10:42pm IST

Odisha govt releases helpline numbers for Odias stranded in Kerala

10:32pm IST

Andhra Pradesh announces Rs 10 crore aid

Andhra Pradesh government announced a financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to rain-ravaged Kerala.

Expressing grief over the devastation, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said his government would extend all possible help to Kerala.

“Our moral support will always be there. We will also help the state in kind and other ways as well,” the chief minister said in a statement.

10:24pm IST

Rescue operations in Palakkad’s Nemmara

10:13pm IST

Kumaraswamy to visit Kodagu tomorrow

Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy will visit Kodagu tomorrow and review relief operations in the district. He will chair a high-level meeting regarding it at 10.30 am tomorrow in Krishna and then leave for Kodagu. He’ll visit rain-affected areas in Nanjangood and Kabini on Sunday.

10:02pm IST

Visuals from relief camp in Kochi

9:43pm IST

Rahul asks Congress workers to help those in need

9:26pm IST

Army’s rescue efforts in Aluva, Kalady

9: 23pm IST

Telangana announces Rs 25 crore assistance

The Telangana government has announced an assistance of Rs 25 crore. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has directed Chief Secretary S K Joshi to see that the money reaches Kerala immediately, an official release said.

Rao has also instructed that water purifying machines worth Rs 2.50 crore be supplied to Kerala as drinking water gets polluted due to floods, it said.

9:15pm IST

DGCA asks airlines to add more flights, cap fares

Aviation regulator DGCA has asked domestic airlines to operate additional flights to Kerala and cap fares as the state reels under a deluge that has forced its busiest airport in Kochi to shut operations till August 26.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said it is constantly monitoring airfares on 32 direct routes operating to/from Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Coimbatore and Mangalore.

Airlines have been requested to cap the maximum fare at Rs 10,000 on longer routes and around Rs 8,000 on shorter routes to/from Kerala and nearby airports.

9:13pm IST

Army joins rescue operations in Karnataka’s Kodagu district

The Army has joined operations to rescue people stranded due to floods and landslides in rain-battered Kodagu district bordering Kerala, officials told PTI.

All major roads leading to Kodagu are blocked and a massive rescue operation has been launched, they said.

Multiple agencies, including Army’s one column of Dogra Regiment with 60 personnel, are involved in the operation.

8:45pm IST

Over 3 lakh people in relief camps, 82,442 people rescued today: CM

“Death toll 324 from May 29. 3,14, 391 people have been moved to the relief camps. 82,442 people were rescued today,” says CM.

8:34pm IST

No shortage of petrol, difficulty in getting fuel to petrol stations: CM

“More army boats will reach Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram tonight. Food is being distributed to those stranded outside and people in relief camps through helicopters and boats.

“Use of Naval airstrip at Kochi for use by civilian airlines has been offered to the Kerala government as the Kochi airport remained closed.

There is no shortage of petrol, difficulty in getting fuel to petrol stations due to flooding on the roads,” says CM.

8:22pm IST

Situation grim in Chalakudy and Chengannur: CM

“The situation grim in Chalakudy and Chenganur due to strong flow of water. From tomorrow, more army boats and helicopters will be used in these areas.Fifteen big army boats will reach chalakudy on Saturday, five boats will be in Kalady , 15 in Chengannur and 10 in Thiruvalla. Rescue efforts in these areas will begin again from 6 am tomorrow morning,” says CM.

8:17pm IST

CM Pinarayi Vijayan holds press conference

“There are 2094 relief camps. People in the camps are being provided food and water,” says CM Pinarayi Vijayan at a press conference.

Fourteen army helicopters, 79 NDRF boats and 403 fishermen boats taking part in relief efforts, he says.

8:13pm IST

WCD ministry sending 100 metric tonnes of food packets: Maneka

The Women and Child Development Ministry is coordinating with the Air Force and Kerala government to deliver 100 metric tonnes of ready-to-eat food packets to the flood-affected children in the state, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said.

8:07pm IST

Star India, ICICI Bank donate to Kerala flood relief

Broadcasting major Star India said it would donate Rs two crore to the CM’s relief fund. ICICI Bank said it has contributed Rs 10 crore towards Kerala flood relief.

7:59pm IST

Southern Railway releases list of trains cancelled, diverted

7:50pm IST

Delhi govt to donate Rs 10 crore to Kerala relief fund

7:32pm IST

PM Modi leaves for Kerala

7:17pm IST

101-year-old rescued by Air Force from North Paravur in Ernakulam

7:09pm IST

Rescue work in flood-hit market of Alappuzha city

6:54pm IST

Navy rushes 8 lakh litres of drinking water to Kochi

6:53pm IST

Railways dispatches special train with water wagons to Thiruvananthapuram

6:44pm IST

Defence ministry’s update of rescue and relief ops

Defence Ministry says 1300 life jackets, 571 lifebuoys, 1000 raincoats, 1300 gumboots, 1200 ready-to-eat meal, 1500 food packets, 25 motorised boats, 9 non-motorised boats have been provided for rescue and relief operations.

6:34pm IST

Flooding continues in Alappuzha

6:26pm IST

53 people moved out of relief camps in and around Kochi: Navy

6:23pm IST

Details of trains cancelled by Southern Railways

6:10pm IST

Rescue and relief work by NDRF in Wayanad


5:55pm IST

Insurance companies asked to settle claims expeditiously

Insurance regulator Irdai has asked all insurance companies to set up special camps and make immediate payments against insurance claims, reports PTI

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has issued guidelines in the regard for both life and non-line insurance claims and asked them to report the progress.

The regulator has asked the non-life as well as standalone health insurers to widely publicise details of offices/special camps set up for the purpose of claim settlement.

“In order to gauge the magnitude of the loss, all non-life insurers (including standalone health insurers) are advised to submit information relating to insurance claims in Kerala on a daily basis,” Irdai said.

5:43pm IST

Punjab CM announces Rs 10 crore for Kerala flood relief

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced immediate relief worth Rs 10 crore for flood-hit Kerala. Rs 5 crore is being transferred to the Kerala CM’s relief fund and the remaining Rs 5 crore will be in the form of ready-to-eat food material and other supplies, reports news agency ANI.

5:38pm IST

More spells of heavy rain over the weekend: Met dept

The ‘vigorous’ southwest monsoon over Kerala will bring in more heavy spells during the weekend in that state, besides Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the regional weather office said on Friday.

The weatherman has forecast heavy rains at isolated places over North Kerala, coastal Karnataka and its south interior parts on August 19.

According to the observations recorded at 8:30am on Friday, Peermade in Idukki district had recorded 19 cm.

5:31pm IST

Streets flooded in Ernakulam’s Velloorkunnam village

5:29pm IST

Pinarayi Vijayan renews call for donations to CM’s relief fund

5:16pm IST

Air India to operate Kochi flights from Thiruvananthapuram

Air India said its flights scheduled to depart from the Kochi airport, which has been shut down till August 26 due to floods, will operate from Thiruvananthapuram. The airline said the new schedule is for the August 18-20 period.

The rescheduled flights are AI 933 to Dubai, AI 047 to New Delhi, AI 682 to Mumbai, AI 511 to New Delhi and AI 510 to Chennai, a release said.

5:02pm IST

Map showing deployment of search and rescue personnel

4:50pm IST

Army says it has 10 flood relief columns in Kerala

The Army says it has a total of 10 flood relief columns, 10 Engineer Task Force, 53 BAUTs are in rescue and relief operations. Two additional special teams will be joining it.

4:35pm IST

Alappuzha’s Chengannur cut off, says Thomas Isaac

4:23pm IST

Floods hits operations at CUMI’s hydel power plant in Maniyar

Carborundum Universal Ltd, manufacturers of abrasives, electro-minerals and industrial ceramics, has said its hydel power plant at Maniyar in Kerala, was not generating power as it was flooded due to the heavy rainfall.

The Chennai-based group company of Murugappa Group said its facilities in Edapally, Koratty (Thrissur district) and Kakkanad (near Kochi) were safe and continue to be in ‘operation’.

“However, the hydel power plant generating power for captive consumption of the electrominerals division at Maniyar has been flooded and currently is not generating power. The employees at the facility have been moved to safety”, the company said in a statement.

The non-generation of power has not impacted its operations in Kerala, it said.

4:16pm IST

Odisha urges Kerala to provide food to 130 flood-hit Odias

The Odisha government urged its Kerala counterpart to provide minimum assistance like food and water to the people from the state taking shelter at a flood ravaged place, official sources said.

The state government’s action came soon after it received an SOS message from one Anil Sethi, who informed that about 130 people from Odisha have taken shelter in a house at Aluva Munnar Road, Odapally, Near Asha Munnar Post Office.

4:11pm IST

51 teams in Kerala, over 4000 people moved to safety in 9 days: NDRF

The NDRF said it has moved more than 4,319 people to safer places and rescued another 44 from flooded areas in Kerala in the past nine days, even as its personnel struggle to reach remote areas cut off due to landslides.

A National Disaster Response Force spokesperson said in New Delhi that its 51 teams, out of the total 53 deployed, are operating on the ground. Two more teams will reach Kerala soon, he added.

4:08pm IST

Crude shipments to BPCL refinery in Kochi delayed: Report

Crude oil shipments to Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd’s Kochi refinery were delayed due to heavy rains preventing vessels from berthing, two industry sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Three vessels, including two very large crude oil carriers and one Suezmax, carrying more than 2 million barrels of crude oil, have been waiting to unload the oil for 5 to 12 days, shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon showed.

“It’s very bad weather at the moment and the rains are not’s not clear when the vessels can discharge,” one of the sources said.

3:47pm IST

25-year-old pregnant woman rescued by Navy from Aluva village

Twenty-five-year-old Sajita Jabeel was rescued from an Aluva village. The Air Force was summoned after she developed labour pain. She was airlifted along with a water-filled bag to minimise impact of lifting. She has given birth to baby boy. Both the mother and newborn are safe.

3:30pm IST

Govt to rope in local bodies to locate stranded people

While the state government asks people to give their exact address and location for rescue, people stranded in flood waters say it is not possible.The Army and NDRF personnel are facing difficulty in locating people. The government now plans to include local body members to locate them.

2:55pm IST

Red alert withdrawn from 2 districts

Red alert has been withdrawn from two districts -- Thiruvananthapuram and north Kerala’s Kasaragod. Only 12 out of 14 districts are on red alert now with many towns like Chalakudy and Pandalam flooded.

2:15pm IST

Death toll rises to 174

Three bodies were recovered from Pathanamthitta, taking the death toll in Kerala floods to 174.

1:50pm IST

Hill station Munnar remains cut-off

Hill station Munnar remains cut-off as it received 127 mm rainfall on Wednesday night. Army help has been sought to restore communication network.

1:35pm IST

Parish hall collapses in Paravur, 7 trapped

Seven people are trapped after a parish hall collapsed in north Paravur.

1:25pm IST

KSRTC cancelled over 8,000 tickets due to floods

The ongoing flood situation led the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation to cancel 8,415 tickets. The KSRTC has refunded Rs. 52,78,126 to the passengers from August 9 to August 17: ANI

1:10pm IST

PM Modi to reach Kerala in the evening

PM Modi will reach Thiruvananthapuram in the evening after the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He will start the aerial survey of flood-affected areas on Saturday morning.

1:05pm IST

CM warns of action against rumour mongers

CM P Vijayan says there is no threat to any dams, scoffs at rumours. He has warned of action against rumour mongers.

1:00pm IST

SC asks to explore possibility to reduce Mullaperiyar dam water level

The Supreme Court today asked the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) and a sub-committee set up by Kerala to deal with the flood situation in the state to coordinate and explore the possibility of reducing the water level at the Mullaperiyar Dam by three feet.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice DY Chandrachud asked Kerala and Tamil Nadu to abide by the directions given by NCMC on the rehabilitation of displaced people and the reduction of water level from the existing 142 feet to 139 feet at the dam.

The top court also asked Kerala to submit the report on the steps taken on disaster management and rehabilitation measures.

12:30pm IST

It is deluge, says chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Situation is serious, it is deluge which we will overcome, says CM.

12:00pm IST

Visuals of a flooded road in Alappuzha

11:55pm IST

No threat to any dams, says CM

“More boats and choppers have been pressed into service. Around 150 boats were added this morning. 14 teams of navy have been deployed in Thrissur while 10 are in Wayanad; Coast guard have been placed at 28 places and 39 teams of NDRF were deployed,” says chief minister.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed that the NDRF has rescued around 4,000 people. In Idukki and Wayanad, rains have subsided but the water level in Periyar River is on rise. “We received around 1 lakh food packets from the Centre. All the stranded people will be saved by this evening. I am confident we can achieve this. The Defence minister has also responded quickly. There is no threat to any dams,” he adds.

11:50am IST

Death toll since August 8 is 164: CM Vijayan

Rains have subsided in some areas, says CM Vijayan. “ I talked to the PM and defence minister in the morning. Situation is serious as many remain stranded. There are 2,23,000 people in 1,568 camps. Death toll since Aug 8 is 164,” said the CM.

11:47am IST

CM’s presser begins

CM’s press conference on Kerala’s flood situation begins

11:45am IST

Bodies recovered from Pathnamthitta, Idukki

Four bodies have been recovered from Pathnamthitta and Idukki.

11:35am IST

IAF facing problem as there aren’t any landing facilities

The Air force says it is facing problem because here are no landing facilities for helicopters. An IAF official said its difficult to deal with such large volume of marooned people. They can only airlift one by one and it is time consuming

11:25am IST

4 Coast Guard ships reach Kochi to join relief teams

4 Capital Ships of Indian Coast Guard have reached Kochi and joined the Disaster and Relief Team. 24 teams are already working in flood affected villages. Indian Coast Guard so far has rescued 1764 people and guided 4688 people to safer locations .

11:15am IST

Kerala chief minister to brief media soon

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to brief the media on state’s flood situation soon.

10:30am IST

Railways to run special flood-relief trains

Indian railways to run special flood-relief trains with army’s help to reach the stranded people. Around 3 lakh people have been lodged in relief camps.

9:45am IST

NDRF teams reach Thiruvananthapuram

Five units of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) reached Thiruvananthapuram and were deployed for rescue operations. 35 teams are expected to reach there today.

9:25am IST

Red alert issued in 13 districts for today

Red alert has been issued in all 13 districts except Kasaragod: ANI. Red alert has been issued for tomorrow also in Ernakulam and Idukki districts.

9:15am IST

Will head to Kerala to take stock of situation: Modi

“Had telephone conversation with Kerala chief minister P Vijayan just now.We discussed the flood situation across the state and reviewed rescue operations. Later this evening, I’ll be heading to Kerala to take stock of the unfortunate situation due to flooding,” tweets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

8:30am IST

Torrential rains to subside, says IMD

Low pressure in bay of Bengal moves towards central part of India, says India Meteorological Department regional office. “Torrential rains to subside a bit,” it says.

8:03am IST

Indian Coast Guard reaches flood-affected Manjumala

Indian Coast Guard’s rescue and relief team from Vandiperiyar has been shifted to the flood-affected Manjumala village. The team has rescued 16 stranded people from the village. Food and dry ration has been distributed among them, rescue operation is underway: ANI.