Unleashing its full fury, the Southwest Monsoon is wreaking havoc across several states in the country with heavy rainfall and swelling water bodies. The death toll in Kerala floods mounted to 72 even as rains abated on Sunday after pounding the state for days, while the situation remained grim in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat where 97 people have lost their lives so far due to the monsoon fury.
All rivers are in spate in Karnataka where the UNESCO world heritage site in Hampi, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Ballari district, has been inundated after over 1.70 lakh cusec water was released from a reservoir on Sunday morning. Tourists in Hampi have been shifted to safer places, officials said.
The unprecedented deluge since last week has left 31 people dead and displaced four lakh people in 80 taluks of 17 districts in Karnataka.
Union home minister Amit Shah undertook an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra on Sunday.
According to reports, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday issued an orange warning – orange indicating be alert and prepared – for six districts for Monday. These districts are Kasargode, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Idukki.
In Kerala, over 2.51 lakh people have taken shelter in 1,639 relief camps. The toll in the flood fury has gone up to 72 while 58 people are missing, according to the report issued by the state government at 7 pm Sunday.
Flight operations at the Kochi international airport resumed on Sunday afternoon, two days after it was shut due to inundation of the runway. The IMD has issued a red alert for Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad in view of heavy rain forecast.
Vadakara in Kozhikode district recorded 21 cm of rainfall, the highest in the state as of 8.30 am Sunday, followed by Kodungallur in Thrissur (19.9 cm) and Perinthalmanna in Malappuram (13.8 cm).
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said water levels in major dams are not a cause of worry as of now.
In the worst-hit Puthumala in Wayanad, which was struck by a massive landslide on Thursday, eight people were still missing and search operations are on, he said.
The army, navy, coast guard, NDRF, police, volunteers and fishermen are involved in the rescue operation in various places.
Congress MP from Wayanad Rahul Gandhi visited a relief camp spoke to the people sheltered there. He also went to Kavalappara, a 10-acre settlement near Nilambur in Malappuram, which bore the brunt of a massive landslide on 8 August.
The Malappuram Disaster Management Authority said 11 bodies have been retrieved so far from Kavalappara. An official said it is feared that nearly 50 bodies are still under the mud and sludge.
According to the Southern Railway a number of trains, including the Jamnagar Express, Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Duronto and Kochuveli-Amritsar Express, have been cancelled.
The railways announced waiver of freight charges for transportation of relief materials to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala, where over 10 lakh people had to be shifted from their homes to escape inundation.
"All government organisations across the country can book relief material free of cost to Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra as of now. Other organisations, as deemed fit by the divisional Railway manager, may also avail of this provision," Deputy Director (Traffic Commercial) of the Railway Board Mahendra Singh said in a letter to all railway general managers.
On Saturday, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had conducted an aerial survey and announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to next of kin of the deceased.
The chief minister had informed that over two lakh people have been evacuated from flood-affected areas and 1.61 lakh people are in 664 relief camps across the state.
It was announced that all schools, and colleges -- government and private -- in affected flood-hit districts will remain closed till 15 August.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also visited the flood-affected areas in Belgaum.
Former Karnataka chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday visited Anemahal village in Hassan district to meet the people affected by the flood. He addressed a public gathering and distributed food supplies among people.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also undertook an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of Karnataka later in the day. Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa briefed Shah about the rescue and relief operations, which are underway in the state and Belgaum district.
Home Minister Amit Shah undertook an aerial survey of flood affected areas of Belagavi district of Karnataka and Sangli & Kolhapur of Maharashtra today. Thereafter, the HM held a meeting at the Belagavi Aiport to review the flood situation in the Karnataka State. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/WOZI2R2bek
— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2019
"We have requested for immediate aid of Rs 3,000 crore. The situation is pathetic here as more than 16 districts have been affected very badly. Tomorrow or a day after tomorrow, we will review the situation in other six or seven districts," he said.
Yediyurappa said the preliminary estimate of flood-related loss in the state was Rs 10,000 crore and urged the Centre to release Rs 3,000 crore as immediate aid.
The Indian Navy on Sunday carried out aerial rescue and relief operations in North Karnataka's Belgaum district. The naval helicopters from Goa's INS Hansa Naval air station rescued 26 stranded citizens and moved them to the relief camps. They also dropped off around 800 kg of food and drinking materials to the areas facing acute shortage of the supplies.
On Saturday, Yediyurappa had conducted an aerial survey and announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to next of kin of the deceased. The chief minister had informed that over two lakh people have been evacuated from flood-affected areas and 1.61 lakh people are in 664 relief camps across the state.
It was announced that all schools and colleges (government and private) in affected flood-hit districts will remain closed till 15 August.
The Ballari district administration in Karnataka has asked people living along the river banks to move to safer places as all 33 gates of the Tungabhadra Dam were opened in the wake of incessant rains.
Around 35 people have been killed in rain-related incidents in five districts of western Maharashtra in a week, including 17 who drowned after a boat capsized near Brahmanal village in Sangli on Thursday.
Four lakh people have so far been moved to safety from the flood-affected areas of Maharashtra, officials said on Sunday, adding 761 villages in 69 tehsils are affected by the deluge.
Over five lakh cusec of water has been discharged from Almatti dam on the Krishna River in Karnataka to ease the flood situation in western Maharashtra.
Koyna dam in Satara discharged 53,882 cusecs of water as its catchment area was still experiencing torrential rains, an official said.
With the recovery of five more bodies, the toll in the boat capsize incident in Sangli rose to 17, another official said, adding water has started receding in some areas of the district.
Rains pounded Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Sindhudurg districts in the state in the last one week.
"The NDRF has deployed 29 teams, the SDRF three, Coast Guard 16, Navy 41 and Army 21 in these 10 districts," an official said. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, various teams of Air Force, Indian Navy, Indian Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are carrying out rescue and relief operations in marooned areas.
Heavy showers continued to lash parts of Gujarat taking the toll in rain-related incidents to 31, including 12 deaths were reported from Saurashtra region since Saturday.
Several parts of central Gujarat and Saurashtra and Kutch regions have been receiving heavy rains for the last three days.
A police official said on Sunday five fishermen drowned after three boats caught in rough weather in the Arabian sea capsized off the Porbandar coast in Saurashtra region.
In another incident, seven people from Vavdi village in Surendranagar have swept away in the strong current of Falku river as they were trying to cross a causeway on Saturday evening, a police official said.
"Six bodies have so far been recovered," he said.
An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter on Sunday rescued 125 people stranded on a road that was washed off from both sides at a causeway near Hajipir. As many as eight helicopters were deployed to provide assistance in the prevailing flood situation in Maharashtra and Gujarat, South Western Air Command Chief Air Marshal HS Arora said on Sunday.
Since Saturday, Nakhatrana taluka in Kutch district received 321 mm of rains, Tankara in Morbi district gauged 268 mm of rainfall, while Dhrangadhra taluka in Surendranagar recorded 209 mm of rains.
A police official on Sunday said five fishermen drowned after three boats capsized amid rough weather and storm in the Arabian sea off Porbandar coast in Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Around 20 other fishermen who ventured into the sea on three other boats were still missing, he said. Six people have swept away in a strong water current in Falku river in Surendranagar district of Saurashtra region, another police official said.
Some fishermen from Porbandar district and Veraval in neighbouring Gir Somnath district ventured into the sea on small boats on Friday morning.
They were caught in the rough weather and storm in the sea on Friday evening before they could return, Porbandar Superintendent of Police Parthrajsinh Gohil said.
"Three boats capsized off the state coast due to bad weather and five fishermen drowned. Their bodies have been recovered. The other fishermen on these boats swam to safety," he said.
"A ship and aircraft of the Coast Guard are searching for 20 other missing fishermen who ventured into the sea on three other boats," he said.
In another incident, seven people from Vavdi village in Surendranagar were swept away by the strong current of Falku river when they were trying to cross a causeway on Saturday evening, an official at Dhrangadhra taluka police station said.
Several parts of central Gujarat and Saurashtra and Kutch regions have been receiving heavy rainfall since Friday.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 12, 2019 13:32:08 IST