The flood situation remained grim in Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh as torrential rains, gusty winds and landslips left a trail of destruction, with reports of 15 deaths on Thursday (August 8).
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday expressed concern over the flood situation in numerous states and urged his party workers to help the affected people.
The Congress also alleged that the BJP-led Maharashtra government failed to respond swiftly to the floods, and demanded that the Army be called in for rescue operations. “The Centre should immediately release ₹4,000 crore to tackle the aftermath of the floods,” Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat said.
Situation grim in Kerala
In view of the heavy monsoon spell in the state, the government on Friday declared holiday for the day, for all schools across the state. According to reports by Kerala State Disaster Management Authority as of Friday, as many as 22,165 people have been evacuated to safety and lodged in 315 camps across the state.
Monsoon wreaked havoc in Kerala on Thursday with red alert been issued in four districts – Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad – following heavy spells of rain, gusty winds and landslides across the state. The second spell of the south-west monsoon intensified, resulting in such deluge. Water levels in most of the rivers and dams across the state have risen flooding nearby areas. Major rivers like Manimala, Meenachal, Moovattupuzha, Chaliyar, Valapattanam, Iruvazjinjpuzha and Pamba are have risen.
Flight operations at the Kochi international airport have been suspended till August 11 morning as floodwaters have inundated the apron area (parking area), authorities said. Earlier on Thursday, flight operations were suspended for four hours till midnight as a precautionary measure in view of heavy rains.
Earlier, by Thursday around 5,000 people were shifted to relief camps. People living near the Kakkad and Pampa rivers have been asked to be vigilant. A 50-year-old man was killed in Attappadi, a tribal hamlet in Palakkad district, after a tree fell on his house while a one year-old girl died following landslip in Idukki Thursday.
A 26-year-old woman from Odisha, who was injured after a tree fell on the house where she was staying, died in Idukki. Another death was reported from Kannur when a 58-year-old man drowned when he fell into a stream, sources said.
The state government has asked tourists not to travel to high range areas including Idukki, while restrictions have been imposed in Ponmudi, a hill station near Thiruvananthapuram. Tourism has been put on hold until August 15. Cochin International Airport will remain shut till 12 p.m. tomorrow.
Three flights from Kozhikode have already been diverted. Red alerts were issued for Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Wayanad districts. Landslides were reported in Adakkathodu and Nelliyodu in Kannur district.
IMD director K Santhosh said that the rains will continue for two more days.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has called for an emergency meeting to assess the situation in the state. He has also declared a holiday in 11 districts of Kerala – Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur, Eranakulam, Kottayam, Idukki, Alappuzha, and Pathanamthitta.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday made a fervent appeal to the people to donate generously, saying at least ₹5,000 crore would be required for relief and rehabilitation in flood-hit and rain-affected areas.
In view of the flood situation in many parts of the State, Infosys Foundation Chairperson Sudha Murthy has donated ₹10 crore for the CM Relief Fund, he said, adding that Swami Sampadana Sri of Chikkodi (Belagavi) has donated ₹2 lakh.
As of now, nine people have lost their lives, with Belagavi suffering the maximum casualty of six, authorities said. The families who have lost their loved ones will receive ₹5 lakh from the state government as a relief fund.
Yediyurappa also said that four teams of public representatives have been formed to supervise relief operations in different flood and rain-affected areas. The Belagavi team would be headed by him and Union Minister of State for Railway Suresh Angadi whereas former chief minister Jagadish Shettar would lead the Dharwad team. KS Eshwarappa would head the Shivamogga team while Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje would head the coastal team, he said.
He added that at least 30,000 houses were required to be built.
Around 43,858 people from affected districts in northern, coastal and Malnad Karnataka have been evacuated by rescue teams comprising Fire and Emergency department, State Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Response Force and Army, official sources said.
In Belagavi, basement of many residential and commercial complexes were filled with waist deep water causing power shut-down. Many vehicles have been submerged. Roads now virtually resemble rivers while there is no power in many parts of the city.
There was severe drinking water crisis in many parts of the district as water gushed into Hidalkal and Rakaskop dam pump house, the two sources of water supply in the city.
Rescue operations carried out by the Indian army in Gokak, Chikkodi, and Mandawali in Belagavi district are underway.
Meanwhile, the district administration has declared holiday for schools and colleges till August 10.
As many as 40,180 people have been evacuated in the district. Two persons lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Uttara Kannada district, from where 3,088 people have been evacuated till date, and one in Shivamogga, according to official figures.
The CM also said at least five lakh cusecs water would be released from Koyna dam due to grim flood situation in Maharashtra.
9 people in Maharashtra died in the Sangli district when a rescue boat capsized, according to the district administration. There were 30 people in the boat and 15 have been rescued. 4 people are missing and 3 are feared drowned.
According to officials, around 1.32 lakh flood-hit people in Pune region (comprising districts of Pune, Satara, Solapur, Sangli, and Kolhapur) were shifted to safer places till Wednesday.
Over two lakh people are living without electricity in the flood-affected areas, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday after conducting an aerial survey. Around 390 water-supply schemes have become dysfunctional and crops and houses have been damaged with thousands shifted to safer places, he said, adding that restoring water and electricity supply was the priority.
Eleven rescue teams including five of National Disaster Response Force were operating in Sangli, and he had sought five more teams from the Defence Ministry for the district, he said. Teams of doctors were ready in Mumbai to travel to flood-affected areas with supplies of medicines, he said.
As many as 223 villages in Kolhapur have been affected. 18 have been completely marooned. About 28,897 persons are affected out of which 8,923 people were shifted. 97,000 persons had moved out on their own earlier,” Fadnavis said.
Some 38,000 people are staying in relief camps in 152 places in Kolhapur district and sixty boats have been pressed into rescue operations, he said. Four deaths have been reported in Kolhapur in rain- related incidents so far, the chief minister said.
As many as 3,813 houses are affected in the district, out of which 89 are completely damaged, he said. Those affected will get financial assistance along with food grains, and a compensation of ₹5 lakh will be given to the kin of the deceased, the chief minister said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday and assured him of all help to deal with floods in the state, officials said.
Meanwhile, 150 families have been evacuated in four tehsils of Goa following heavy rains and release of water from Tillari dam on Goa-Maharashtra border, the state government informed on Thursday. Tourists and fishermen were advised to stay away from the sea.
About 100 families were sheltered in 16 relief camps in the high ranges of Nilgiris, where many areas have been flooded and left with no power supply. In Coimbatore, two contract labourers were killed and another critically injured when the godown keeping railway parcels collapsed in the early hours Thursday, police said. A 65-year-old man died after his house collapsed near Udhagamandalam following incessant rains over the past four days, police said.
A flood alert has been issued to Coimbatore and Nilgiris, and a holiday has been declared to schools and colleges in these two districts.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea off TN and Puducherry coasts due to strong winds from westerly/southwesterly direction with speed reaching 40-50 kmph in the next 24 hours.
At least 22 crocodiles were rescued from residential areas in Vadodara city and district in the last one week, a Gujarat forest department official said on Thursday. These reptiles had ventured into residential areas after water levels in the Vishwamitri river and its tributary Dhadhar, their homes, rose due to heavy rains and floodwaters entered the city and parts of the district last week. These reptiles were rescued after the floodwater levels receded.
NDRF and SDRF teams, besides Fire and Rescue Services Personnel, have been deployed in Srikakulam district for rescue and relief operation in view of the flood situation. Eight relief camps have been kept ready to move in flood-hit people, if required, Srikakulam Collector J Nivas said. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected Polavaram and Devipatnam.
A man was killed and his son went missing after being swept away in the gushing waters, while crossing a hilly stream in Belghar area of Kandhamal district. Train services remained affected for the second day on Thursday, with the Railways cancelling at least six trains for the day and three others on Friday, besides diverting a large number of passenger and express trains running on this route, an official said.
Two died and five were injured after the wall of a house collapsed in Madan Mohan Malviya Ward, Jagdalpur, due to heavy rains in the region today.
The water level has risen in Satpura dam in Sarni, Betul district due to incessant rains.