30 dead in Kerala as rain pounds West Coast, Met issues Code Red: 10 points
There was no let-up from battering rains in the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharashtra with many dead and several reported missing. Flood situation continues to be grave in Kerala. The death toll has gone up to 30 and it is likely to go up, according to officials as many areas are cut off by landslides are not reachable yet. The Met Office has issued a red code warning early today for the states along the western coast. Heavy to extremely heavy falls may continue over isolated places in Kerala, Coastal and South Interior Karnataka, Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa over the next two days. These regions are facing flood-like situation, which may aggravate with several river flowing above their danger levels. Strong winds gusting up to 40-50 kmph, are likely to prevail over the Arabian Sea and along and off the West Coast and the weather officials have advised fishermen not to venture into these areas.
1.Heavy rains continue to pound Kerala with the Met office issuing red alert for nine districts now. A total of 24 landslides were reported in the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, adding that he has sought Army and Air Force help in rescue operations. Another major landslide was reported in Malappuram and more than 50 people were feared trapped. Rescue teams are struggling to reach the accident site due to inclement weather.
2.All educational institutes have been ordered shut for today as weathermen predicted more rains in the next two days. A total of 1.24 lakh people have been evacuated and taken hundreds of relief camps set up across the state, the chief minister said.
3.In worst-hit Kerala district Wayanad, which is also Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency, many areas still remain cut off with roads caving in and several people feared trapped in a massive landslide in Meppady. People were seen flocking to hospitals to look for their missing family members and relatives. Rescue operations were hampered due to bad weather conditions.
4.Rahul Gandhi spoke to PM Modi “seeking all possible assistance for the people severely affected by the floods and landslides in the state.” The prime minister has “assured” any assistance required, Gandhi’s Wayanad MP office tweeted.
Watch: Incessant rains, landslides batter Kerala’s Wayanad
5.The Cochin International Airport will remain closed till 3 pm on Sunday, officials said after floodwaters inundated the apron area (parking). Chief Minister Vijayan said that Kochi naval base can be used as temporary airport and the talks with the navy are on. The Navy, however, has opened Kochi naval base airport for civilian flights in view of Cochin airport closure.
6.Of the 44 rivers in the state more than half are in spate and many dams are filled to the brim, said revenue officials. More than 20,000 people have been evacuated to safer places as overflowing rivers and swollen dams flooded several districts amid heavy rains, they said. There has been 260 mm of rain in Wayanad so far.
7.In Maharashtra, at least 2.05 lakh people have been displaced so far and 27 killed in the floods that continued to ravage western Maharashtra on Thursday. While the rain has abated to an extent, dam waters have not yet receded in the worst-affected districts of Kolhapur and Sangli, 376km from Mumbai. With a forecast of very heavy rainfall again on Friday and an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 stranded people still awaiting rescue, the situation in these two districts remains serious.
8.Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the situation would improve after Karnataka releases 5 lakh cusecs of water from Almatti dam. He also said the state government would not shy away from announcing a national disaster in the state if the situation did not improve.
9. The death toll has risen to 15 and several others injured in rain related incident in 12 northwest and coastal districts of Karnataka, an official said on Thursday. “Of the 10 rain-related deaths, 7 were in Belagavi, 2 in Uttara Kannada and one in Shivamogga,” reported news agency IANS, quoting rescue official. Four more bodies were found under the debris after the landslide in Korangala village.
10.Schools, colleges, markets and offices were shut and thousands of people stranded due to damage to road and rail network in the region. The Central Water Commission issued an extreme flood alert for areas around the Dudhganga River in Sadalga area of Belagavi district. Personnel of the Indian Army and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Belagavi, Raichur and Bagalkot districts for rescue and relief operations and more teams are being sent to the areas.
(With inputs from Ramesh Babu in Thiruvananthapuram, Vikram Gopal in Bengaluru, and agencies )