Volunteers rescue people from a submerged residential area at Alappuzha district on August 20.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Volunteers rescue people from a submerged residential area at Alappuzha district on August 20.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Military scales down Kerala flood rescue operations, state braces for reconstruction

People have begun leaving the relief camps over the past couple days, heading to their homes to check on damage and begin the long process of cleaning up.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Kochi
UPDATED ON AUG 21, 2018 04:37 PM IST

The armed forces started scaling down rescue operations on Tuesday in Kerala, where floods killed more than 370 people and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes, as the rain abated and the waters receded in several areas of the state.

The Centre has declared the devastating floods in Kerala a “calamity of severe nature” as the state braced for the gigantic task of reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure and rehabilitation lakhs of people rendered homeless.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on Tuesday 373 people have lost their lives and 32 others went missing in Kerala since May 30 following monsoons, which hit all the 14 districts of the southern state.

More than 54.11 lakh people in Kerala were affected in the massive floods of which 12.47 lakh have taken shelter in 5,645 relief camps since May 30, it said.

Intense rains, which began August 8 in Kerala, had decreased substantially by Monday and meteorologists are expecting light-to-moderate rains in the coming days.

While water and electricity have been returned to parts of flood-stricken Kerala, the state’s utilities were working to restore service to vast areas that still had no service, news agency PTI reported.

 

Reclaiming lives

People have begun leaving the relief camps over the past couple days, heading to their homes to check on damage and begin the long process of cleaning up.

Just outside of Kochi, thousands of people have been streaming over the past two days from the grounds of Union Christian College, one of more than 3,000 relief camps created amid the havoc. A week ago, volunteers at the camp estimated 10,000 people were jammed into the schools’ buildings. Today, there are perhaps 1,500.

A woman cleans the mud from the entrance of her house following floods in Paravur in Kerala on August 21. (REUTERS)
A woman cleans the mud from the entrance of her house following floods in Paravur in Kerala on August 21. (REUTERS)

Abdullah Aliyar has been living in the camp with four of his relatives. On Monday, he returned briefly to his home, which is a few miles (kilometres away). He was dismayed by what he found. “There was sludge and muck nearly up to my knee.”

But for now, the family is remaining at the college. There’s no drinking water at home, and no electricity. He doesn’t know when they’ll be able to return.

In Kozhikode, a group of policemen have come together and prepared 1,000 kits of essential items like sugar, pulses, rice etc to be distributed to the neediest who return home from camps.

“Over 90% people have gone back from camps in the district to their homes. There are many people who are in a very bad state and so it was decided to distribute kits to them as the festivals are just around the corner even though there may be no celebrations,” a police official said.

At Chengannur, one of the worst-hit towns, more than 60 centimetres (two feet) of water still blocked many roads as more rain fell Tuesday. Army teams said several thousand people in the town remained in homes inundated by 10 days of torrential downpours that have battered the state.

Tens of thousands of people in Chengannur and surrounding towns and villages are relying on community kitchens for meals, after water from hilly districts in Kerala’s north poured down into lowland regions.

“People have lost all or most of their belongings in the last few days,” the officer told AFP.

People who have left their flood effected homes take refuge in a relief camp set up at a college on the outskirts of Kochin in Kerala on August 21. (AP Photo)
People who have left their flood effected homes take refuge in a relief camp set up at a college on the outskirts of Kochin in Kerala on August 21. (AP Photo)

Cochin airport to reopen

The Cochin international airport, one of the three in Kerala and the busiest, will open on August 26, after 12 days of closure. The airport was first closed on August 9, for a few hours, and then on August 15.

An official said the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has launched rebuilding “on a war-footing” of the damaged infrastructure, including 2.5km long airport wall that collapsed after water from the swollen Periyar river and its tributaries, which received an unprecedented amount of water released by major dams, entered the complex.

“Our initial assessment is that we have suffered an estimated loss of Rs 220 crore in the floods,” the official said.

INS Garuda, the naval air station in Kochi, commenced operations of civil aircraft from Monday.

‘New Kerala has to be built’

Millions of dollars in donations have poured into the state from the rest of India and abroad since the extent of the devastation became known. Supreme Court judges have donated Rs 25,000 each while the British-based Sikh group Khalsa Aid International has set up its own relief camp in Kochi, Kerala’s main city, to provide 3,000 meals a day.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday “a new Kerala” needed to be built following the widespread destruction.

“Funds are the prime requisite for this. This will be raised by us through various sources besides getting it from the Centre and other agencies,” he said.

People in the flood-affected Manjali at North Paravoor in Kochi on August 20. (PTI Photo)
People in the flood-affected Manjali at North Paravoor in Kochi on August 20. (PTI Photo)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), home to hundreds of thousands of Keralites, has informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it would be providing $100 million for Kerala, Vijayan told the media.

Vijayan said they would ask the Centre to allow Kerala to increase the market borrowings from 3% of the state’s total revenue to 4.5%, which could help raise an additional Rs 10,000 crore.

“We have decided to approach agencies like NABARD whose mandate includes providing for infrastructure and drinking water. We will demand a special package for the state,” said Vijayan.

Till Monday, the total contributions received to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund was Rs 210 crore while another Rs 160 crore has been pledged.

A special session of the Kerala assembly has been called from August 30 to discuss the huge destruction caused by the worst flooding in nearly a century and to chart the future course of action.

Subdued Onam, Bakrid

Many families and organisations have decided against celebrating Onam, considered the state’s harvest festival, on August 25 and the Muslim festival of Bakrid on Wednesday.

The state government has also cancelled Onam celebrations. The Kerala Tourism’s decision to organise Champions Boat League on the lines of Indian Premier League (IPL) from this year starting with Nehru Trophy boat race also took a beating due to the flooding.

Pulikali (Tiger Dance), among the folk art forms of Kerala, which is held in Thrissur with artisans donning tiger masks and sporting the painted stripes of the big cat and dancing to the rhythm of traditional percussion instruments on August 28 is also likely to be cancelled.

Ammini, a 55-year-old in a relief camp, said she and her family had to rush out with only the clothes they wore.s

“Everything is lost. We do not have anything left. There is nothing to look forward to. My son is bedridden .. I do not know where to go from the camp with my son, daughter-in-law and their child as there is no home left,” she said.

“We do not know how to take our life forward. Onam is not now in our minds...,” she said unable to hold back tears.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
These will be part of a long-awaited overhaul in how India sees and approaches dangers in the digital domain.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
These will be part of a long-awaited overhaul in how India sees and approaches dangers in the digital domain.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Cyber policy to factor in threat from state actors

By Sunetra Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:12 AM IST
  • The 50-odd pages document, anchored by the national security adviser’s office, is now awaiting the approval from the Prime Minister’s office before it is released.
Close
Till Wednesday night, India vaccinated a total of 949,147 people, or 712 per million in Phase 2, which covers the most vulnerable sections of the general public.(AP)
Till Wednesday night, India vaccinated a total of 949,147 people, or 712 per million in Phase 2, which covers the most vulnerable sections of the general public.(AP)

Phase 2 of vaccination drive stuck in first gear

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:09 AM IST
  • Delhi, which gave shots to 1,679 people per million population in the second phase till Wednesday night, was in the second spot, while Odisha (1,283 doses per million) was third.
Close
But the bench was emphatic that before it examined Purohit’s bail plea, it would want to take a look at the regulations, which were notified by the central government on February 25.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
But the bench was emphatic that before it examined Purohit’s bail plea, it would want to take a look at the regulations, which were notified by the central government on February 25.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

OTT regulations a necessity as some even show porn, says SC

By Utkarsh Anand, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:49 AM IST
  • The scenes that caused offence have since been deleted, and the makers as well as the OTT company have apologised.
Close
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said he will reply to these arguments on Tuesday when the matter will be next heard.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said he will reply to these arguments on Tuesday when the matter will be next heard.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

‘Can’t mandate perverse equality’: SC on plea over commission for women

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:35 AM IST
  • The medical fitness team of the Army tested close to 615 women SSC officers entitled for permanent commission, following the apex court judgment, on five counts: psychiatry, height, appendage (bone structure), physical and eye and ear.
Close
Cities in southern and western India, which perform the best on the more tangible indicators, have the lowest positive bias in their overall scores on account of CPS. The CPS bias is also higher in smaller cities than larger ones.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Cities in southern and western India, which perform the best on the more tangible indicators, have the lowest positive bias in their overall scores on account of CPS. The CPS bias is also higher in smaller cities than larger ones.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

N-E cities have the strongest feel-good factor

By Roshan Kishore, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:19 AM IST
  • The EOL report has calculated its overall scores on the basis of four parameters: quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.
Close
The EoL index evaluates the performance its cities across four pillars — quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.(File photo)
The EoL index evaluates the performance its cities across four pillars — quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception.(File photo)

Economic might led Bengaluru to top

By Sharan Poovanna
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 02:07 AM IST
  • Bengaluru, India’s technology capital, is an economic powerhouse on account of the presence of some of the world’s largest corporations.
Close
But party insiders said he was forced to withdraw his comments after the central leadership expressed serious reservations about them.(PTI)
But party insiders said he was forced to withdraw his comments after the central leadership expressed serious reservations about them.(PTI)

BJP names Metro Man as its Kerala CM face, then retracts

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 01:32 AM IST
  • K Surendran, the state BJP president who made the original announcement claimed he was quoted out of context.
Close
The fire in Similipal biosphere reserve came at a time when Odisha topped the list of forest fire incidents with 8688 fire spots since February 25 as per the Forest Survey of India’s fire alerts system. (ANI PHOTO).
The fire in Similipal biosphere reserve came at a time when Odisha topped the list of forest fire incidents with 8688 fire spots since February 25 as per the Forest Survey of India’s fire alerts system. (ANI PHOTO).

Similipal blaze contained, Odisha asks for rapid response to forest fires

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:38 AM IST
  • The biosphere reserve spread over an area of 5569 sq km contributes 38% of the total protected area network in Odisha. It is also one of the oldest tiger reserves in the country having the largest zone of Sal trees.
Close
PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.(PTI Copy)
PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.(PTI Copy)

Top military meet in new avatar, to be ‘multi-layered and informal’

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:00 AM IST
  • For the first time, junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and jawans are taking part in the top conference, as reported by Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
Close
A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo(REUTERS)
A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo(REUTERS)

Four days into March, Mumbai sizzles at 38 degrees Celsius

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:52 PM IST
  • According to the IMD's forecast, Friday and Saturday may see higher daytime temperatures that could rise to 39 degrees Celsius.
Close
India’s vaccination drive has completed 17,711,287 jabs as of 7pm on Thursday.(HT Photo)
India’s vaccination drive has completed 17,711,287 jabs as of 7pm on Thursday.(HT Photo)

More than 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses given in a day: Government

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:16 PM IST
“Total 10,93,954 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm today, the forty-eighth day of nationwide COVID19 vaccination,” the health ministry said in a statement.
Close
File photo of Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi as he resigns from his post, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)
File photo of Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi as he resigns from his post, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

Complainant fails to join probe against Karnataka ex-minister Ramesh Jarkiholi

By Arun Dev
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 11:01 PM IST
  • A police officer said that the complainant's status as witness in the case of alleged sexual exploitation against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi is also unclear.
Close
Urban housing minister Hardeep Puri release ease of living index on Thursday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)
Urban housing minister Hardeep Puri release ease of living index on Thursday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

‘Choice between smart city and decay’: Minister on Ease of Living Index report

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:42 PM IST
The Union minister also hailed the smart cities project as one of the fastest implemented projects anywhere in the world. He, however, said, “there is some kind of perception deficit.”
Close
Press Association seeks priority Covid-19 vaccination of accredited journalists
Press Association seeks priority Covid-19 vaccination of accredited journalists

Press Association seeks priority Covid-19 vaccination of accredited journalists

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:33 PM IST
"Like health professionals, security persons and many others, a number of journalists have also lost their lives on the line of duty. Like all other essential services, media houses also remained open during the whole calamity," the press body said in an official statement.
Close
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with ArcelorMittal Chairman Lakshmi Niwas Mittal (R) during the signing of an MoU between the state government and ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Ltd for setting up an integrated steel plant and riverine port in Kendrapara District, in Bhubaneswar, Thursday, March 04, 2021. (PTI Photo)(PTI03_04_2021_000169B)(PTI)
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with ArcelorMittal Chairman Lakshmi Niwas Mittal (R) during the signing of an MoU between the state government and ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Ltd for setting up an integrated steel plant and riverine port in Kendrapara District, in Bhubaneswar, Thursday, March 04, 2021. (PTI Photo)(PTI03_04_2021_000169B)(PTI)

ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India plans $6.88 billion steel plant

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 09:58 PM IST
The proposed plant to be built by the joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel would have annual production capacity of 12 million tonnes, the state government of Odisha said in a statement.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP