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Current affairs, Environment

42 dead in Kerala, dozens missing after landslides

Heavy rains, floods disrupt lives across 4 states in India.


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Updated: August 12, 2019

At least 42 people are dead and dozens trapped as heavy rainfall triggered landslides and inundated several low-lying regions across the southern state.

Over 30 people are feared missing after a landslide hit Kavalappara in Malappuram district on Thursday. Rescue operations have been hampered due to bad weather.

At least 64,000 people have shifted into 738 relief camps across the rain-battered state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed on Friday.

A red alert had been issued for Saturday in the worst affected districts of Ernakulam, Palakkad, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur.

Wayanad district continues to be the worst affected, while the situation gets tougher if the gates of the Banasura dam were to be opened.

“A team of ministers are in Wayanad overseeing the operations and by tomorrow (Saturday) morning all will get the required facilities at the relief camps that are being set up across Wayanad district,” the CM said.

Earlier on Friday, Vijayan assured people there was no need to panic at all as things are under control.

“If one compares with the floods that took place the same time last year, this time it’s not that serious. As a government, we have taken every precaution and there need be no panic, but just be alert. The need of the hour is people should cooperate with the authorities, if they are asked to move out from places which are likely to turn dangerous, they must comply,” he said.

13 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and three teams each of the engineering task force and the Army are engaged in relief and rescue operations.

“Two more columns of the Army are arriving. With the Cochin airport closed till Sunday, efforts are on to see if the Cochin Naval Base airport can be opened (it was open during last year’s floods). The Centre is always in touch with us,” Vijayan said.

With heavy rains throwing life out of gear in Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday assured former Congress President Rahul Gandhi all help for those affected by the flood situation.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will visit his parliamentary constituency Wayanad on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the 67th edition of the Nehru Boat Race, to be held on Saturday at Alappuzha, has been postponed.

The Indian Army said it has rescued around 6000 people and more than 15000 have been evacuated from flood-affected areas in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu till late Friday.

The Home Ministry on Friday said more than 250 rescue teams of National Disaster Response Force, Army, Navy and Air Force have been deployed in Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Gujarat for relief operations.

The grim flood situation in south-west Maharashtra has left at least 37 people dead.

The floods have also had a fallout in urban centres like Mumbai, Thane, Pune and other cities, which are now witnessing a shortage of essentials such as milk, fruits and vegetables.

In Karnataka, the death toll in rain-related deaths increased to 15 from nine on Friday and 45,000 people have been shifted to relief camps and safer places from low-lying and submerged areas in the affected districts.



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The Statesman
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