Kerala floods updates: Narendra Modi to visit state tomorrow night to review situation; toll mounts to 97

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Kerala floods updates: Narendra Modi to visit state tomorrow night to review situation; toll mounts to 97
  • 22:44 (IST)

    Over 300 students stuck at Sree Narayana Medical College in Ernakulam district, send distress signal through social media

    Over 300 medical students are reportedly stuck at Sree Narayana Medical college in Chalakka, North Paravur, Ernakulam district. In a distress message spread on social media and Whatsapp groups, the students appeal for urgent help and say they are falling short of drinking water. The Times of India put the number of those stranded at around 600 as it reported that those stuck include 100 patients, 150 medical students, faculty, locals and even those who were involved in rescue operations. 

  • 21:46 (IST)

    Narendra Modi to visit Kerala tomorrow

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kerala tomorrow evening, Union Minister Alphons Kannathanam told reporters. The prime minister will leave Delhi after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cremation and will land in Kochi tomorrow night. He will tour the state to take stock of the flood situation on Saturday. 

    Input by Naveen Nair

  • 20:51 (IST)

    After 30 lives lost on single day, death toll touches 97

    Torrential rain and floods played havoc in Kerala, claiming 30 lives today, swamping homes, destroying roads, and disrupting air and rail traffic in many places, officials said. Altogether 97 people have died in rain-related incidents since the second spell of monsoon fury got unleashed on 8 August. 

  • 20:46 (IST)

    Kerala govt's Water secretary asks people not to believe on rumours

    According to News18, water resources secretary, Tinku Biswal, said in a statement: "Rumours are being spread in social media sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, etc that the Mullaperiyar Dam has developed some cracks. This rumour is completely baseless and the Dam has not developed any cracks as alleged." 

  • 20:35 (IST)

    Thousands stranded in flood-hit Kerala cry out for help

    Thousands of flood-affected people in Kerala -- mostly in Pathanamthitta and parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur -- have been stranded as rescuers battle heavy rains to reach out to them even as the death toll in the unprecedented floods rose to 88 on Thursday.

    Reports said hundreds of people are perched on the roofs of their houses in the worst-hit southern district of Pathanamthitta, where attempts to airlift the marooned families have failed. 

    My 90-year-old mother-in-law, sister-in-law who is a cancer patient, and other relatives are living in a precarious condition as water is rising not just outside their home near Thiruvalla but inside, too," a relative told IANS. "When we spoke to the authorities there, they said they are helpless as boats are not available," he said. The Centre has urgently deployed 12 NDRF teams, and is seding 23 additional NDRF teams as well. 

  • 20:25 (IST)

    Kerala, Tamil Nadu argue over Mullaperiyar Dam, SC tells them to coordinate and decrease water by 3 feet 

    The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Disaster Management sub-committee of Mullaperiyar Dam to consider reducing water level up to 139 feet from the present 142 feet, considering the "grave" flood situation in all the 14 districts of Kerala. 

    "An effort has to be made to bring down the water level of the Mullaperiyar dam to 139 ft so that the people living downstream should not live in constant fear," the bench said.


    However, Tamil Nadu government opposed the plea with regard to bringing down the water level in the dam, saying that the inflow of water presently is over 12,000 cusec in contrast to the outflow of 5,000 cusec. 

    The bench said this was not the time to go into the past and efforts to be made to deal with the present crisis and posted the matter for further hearing at 2 PM on Friday.

  • 19:33 (IST)

    Arvind Kejriwal requests party men to not celebrate his birthday owing to Vajpayee's demise; urges them to contribute for Kerala floods

    Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who turned 50 today, stepped out of his home earlier in the day to request AAP workers gathered there not to celebrate his birthday. Kejriwal made the decision owing to Vajpayee's critical health at the time. The former prime minister later passed away.  

    The Delhi chief minister, instead, urged his party workers to contribute to the relief and rescue operations in Kerala owing to the unprecedented floods. 

  • 19:20 (IST)

    Family makes a distress call on social media 

  • 19:15 (IST)

    35 NDRF teams sent as operations scaled up

    The Centre today decided to send 35 more NDRF teams comprising nearly 1,000 personnel to shore up relief and rescue operations in rain-battered Kerala.

     
    After the meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) early in the day, the government initially directed sending 12 fresh teams of the federal disaster contingency force to the state and later decided to airlift 23 more teams in order to scale up the operations.
     
     
    "The first 12 teams will reach Kerala by this evening. The rest 23 teams are being sent gradually. The teams have been equipped for assisting the state government authorities in launching quick relief, rescue, medical aid and food distribution tasks in both day time and at night," NDRF Director General Sanjay Kumar told PTI.
     
    He said the first 12 teams are being airlifted from Ghaziabad (6) and Vadodara (6) in Gujarat. "The 18 teams already present in Kerala are engaged in relief and rescue operations on a war footing," the DG said. 

  • 19:08 (IST)

    Konkan Railway cancels 5 trains from flood-hit Kerala

    Konkan Railway on Thursday cancelled five trains emanating from Kerala, following the flash-floods in the southern state, a spokesperson said. The cancelled trains are train no. 12202 KCVL-LTT Garib Rath, train no. 16346 TVC-LTT Netravati Express, train no. 12617 ERS-LTT Mangala Express, train no. 19424 TEN-GIMB Humsafar Express and train no. 22114 KCVL-LTT Express for 16 August.

  • 18:59 (IST)

    Kerala Airport to remain shut till 26 August afternoon

    The Kochi Airport, which is completely inundated by flood water, will remain closed till 26 August. Earlier it was to resume operations on Saturday, however, the closure has been extended till 26 now. 

     Aviation secretary RN Choubey told The Times of India"The Cochin International Airports Ltd has informed that due to rains, the airport is not available upto 2 pm on August 26. Therefore, Air Navigation Services wing of Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued NOTAM (notice to airmen) till the date and time mentioned above. As a result, aviation operations and flights will remain suspended till then. The situation is being constantly reviewed in consultation with the state government."

  • 18:04 (IST)

    Paschima Vahini ghats completely inundated 

    The ghats of the sacred Paschima Vahini in Srirangapatna are completely submerged currently. This is a popular religious point considered to be the confluence of the rivers Cauvery, Kabini and Hemavathi.

    Input By Deena D'Silva/101Reporters

  • 17:57 (IST)

    Kochi Metro resumes services for rescue operations, provides free services to all commuters in view of floods

    The Kochi Metro has decided to resume the services as part of rescue and relief operations. "Kochi Metro has resumed its operations at 4 pm, today, to do its bit in ensuring that help is not denied to the needy who are affected by the floods. All of Kochi Metro's resources will be used to assist rescue missions and hence the services will be free of charge for the day," the Kochi Metro rail authority tweeted. 

  • 17:33 (IST)

    Pinarayi Vijayan requests people living along Chalakudy river to move to higher places

    Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan appealed to the people living along the Chalakudy river and its tributaries to move to higher places. 

  • 17:23 (IST)

    Kerala finance minister raises excise duty on liquor for 100 days to overcome fund crunch in relief and rescue ops

    Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac, on Thursday, informed via Twitter that the excise duty on liquor in state will be increased by 0.5 to 3.5 percent for a period of 100 days to facilitate additional resource mobilisation. "Yes, there is a financial resource crunch. But we shall overcome," Isaac said in his tweet. He said that an additional Rs 230 crores are expected to be raised from the move and the additional fund shall be used to carry out relief and rescue operations. 

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Watch: Indian Navy team rescues a small child stranded in Aluva 

    Under Indian Navy's Operation Madad, Flight Diver Amit and Pilot in Command Vijay Verma rescued a small child from Aluva in Ernakulam district. 

  • 17:07 (IST)

    All 9 CWC flood monitoring stations in Kerala report 'extreme flooding'

  • 17:05 (IST)

    142 people evacuated by navy helicopters from Ernakulam district

    The Indian Navy has safely evacuated 142 people stranded in Pathanamthitta and Aluva cities in the Ernakulam district.

  • 17:03 (IST)

    Meanwhile, CWC issues fresh warnings for Cauvery basin,

    The Central Water Commission has sounded a fresh warning in the Cauvery river basin. The CWC said that there is a likelihood of heavy water discharge from the Kabini dam and Krishna Raja Sagara Dam. The combined released water would subsequently reach the Mettur Dam, Bhavani Sagar Dam and Amravathi Dam, which could cause severe flooding in downstream areas of Bhivani (Erode district) and Thirumukkudal (Karur district) in Kerala's neighbouring state Tamil Nadu. 

  • 16:52 (IST)

    Indian Navy deploys 24 units, 21 divers' teams to assist in rescue operations, says Defence Minister  

  • 16:41 (IST)

    Odisha government promises assistance of Rs 5 crore to flood-hit Kerala 

    Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced assistance of five crores rupees for relief and restoration of the damage caused by floods in Kerala and expressed solidarity with those affected by the extreme weather event, the chief minister's office tweeted.

  • 16:31 (IST)

    Chalk out ways to reduce water level in Mullaperiyar dam, SC directs high-level committee 

    In view of the worsening flood conditions in Kerala, the Supreme Court has asked an authorized high-level committee to convene a meeting by tomorrow morning in connection with the rising water level in Mullaperiyar Dam. 

    The sub-committee, constituted under section 9 of Disaster Management Act, will meet representatives of Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments by tomorrow morning to chalk out ways to reduce the water level in Mullaperiyar dam to 139 feet. 

  • 16:27 (IST)

    85,398 people forced to shelter in 718 relief camps across Kerala

    The magnitude and scale of the Kerala floods is such that till yesterday, 85,398 people were forced to flee their homes and take refuge in over 718 relief camps across Kerala. The state disaster management authority estimates that at least 22115 families were displaced until yesterday. Today, the number of distress calls being made through social media and other channels have climbed further up, with armed forces and state authorities carrying out relentless rescue operations. So far, at least 87 people are feared dead.  

  • 16:20 (IST)

    State Disaster Management Authority estimates say over 3,300 hectares area under water in Kerala 

    According to a state disaster management authority data quoted by several journalists, over 3393 hectares of land is under spate due to unprecedented floods in Kerala. 

  • 15:50 (IST)

    E Palaniswami responds to Pinarayi Vijayan's letter, says no threat to Mullaperiyar dam 

    Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami, on Thursday, responded to a letter by his Kerala counterpart, Pinarayi Vijayan. Palaniswami told the Kerala government that the Mullaperiyar dam which is managed by the Tamil Nadu government, is perfectly safe and it has been inspected by experts from time to time for  any structural damages. 

  • 15:41 (IST)

    At least 20 deaths reported today take toll up to 87

    According to a report in The Hindu, a total of 20 deaths have been reported so far from various parts of Kerala. This has taken the total toll, since 8 August when the worst floods in the history of Kerala hit state, up to 87. 

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Spate in Cauvery causes severe flooding in Mandya

    With the overflowing Cauvery posing a severe threat in Mandya, the district administration has established a helpline and a dedicated control room. The numbers are 0823-224888 and 1077. The residents can also contact the nearby police stations for further assistance. Today, Mandya Deputy Commissioner N. Manjushree and Pandavapura Assistant Commissioner HNShailaja led team visited the flood-affected villages and inspected the situation.

    Input by Deena D'Silva/ 101Reporters

  • 15:25 (IST)

    Centre launches massive rescue and relief operations in Kerala

    Following Narendra Modi's instructions, the chief secretary chaired a high-level meeting.  Army, Navy, IAF, Coast Guard and NDRF asked to mobilise additional manpower, boats and helicopters to scale up rescue and relief operations.

  • 15:20 (IST)

    Tourists activities around Cauvery restricted after water levels have gone up

    The quantum of flow in Cauvery in Mandya has been adjudged as dangerous to the low-lying areas on either side of the river. Tourism activities at the famed Brindavan Gardens, near the KRS entrance, Balmuri and Edmuri Waterfalls, Ranganathittu Bird sanctuary, Paschima Vahini, near the historical Wellesley Bridge, various bathing ghats at Srirangapatna, Dakshina Cauvery at Srirangapatna, Mahadevapura, Muthathi and Shimsha have been banned in view of safety concerns. But, tourists are still being allowed to visit Gaganachukki waterfalls. Scenes from the submerged Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.

    Deena D’Silva/101Reporters

  • 15:19 (IST)

    Karnataka: Water level in Cauvery steadily increasing

    The flow of Cauvery in Mandya is the highest since the crest gates were lifted on 9 August. On that day, the water was being discharged from KRS at the rate of 43,809 cusecs. Since then it has been steadily increasing and today 1,22,486 cusecs of water is reportedly being discharged. View of the iconic Wellesley Bridge in Srirangapatna, where waters have reached the deck.

    Deena D’Silva/101Reporters

  • 15:18 (IST)

    Relief camps setup at Aircraft Hanger, INS Garuda, Kochi

  • 15:09 (IST)

    National Crisis Management Committee meets to review Kerala floods

    Chiefs of three Services, Home and Defence secretaries attend

  • 15:04 (IST)

    KARNATAKA: HD Kumaraswamy takes stock of Kodagu and coastal deluge

    Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy took stock of the flood situation in Kodagu and the coastal areas in Karnataka. He sent his brother and state minister for Public Works Department H D Revanna  and the district incharge of Kodagu Sara Mahesh to camp in Madikeri and to oversee the relief measures taken up by the NDRF and SDRF.

    Kumaraswamy said he has already spoken to the Air Force chief of Southern command to help the stranded people to be airlifted with the help of helicopters.

    M Raghuram/101 Reporters

    Image By Coovercolly Indresh/ 101 Reporters

  • 15:00 (IST)

    Kerala will get every assistance it needs: Nirmala Sitharaman

    Nirmala Sitharaman in a series of tweets assured that every help sought by Kerala government will be extended. "Several MPs have called for help. NRIs highlighted Pattamthitta, Ranni & Aranmula. Have directed Indian Air Force for airlifting people stranded on rooftops," Sitharaman tweeted. The defence minister said that she spoke with Pinarayi Vijayan who requested more boats, and life jackets. "Have instructed Defence Secretary to respond immediately. Awaiting the list from Chief Secretary, Kerala. There shall be no delay from our side. Additional IAF helicopters will be deployed," the defence minister said. 

  • 14:51 (IST)

    Supreme Court Bar Assoication donates Rs 30 lakh to Kerala Flood relief

  • 14:50 (IST)

    Contriibute generously to aid rescue and relief operations: CPM

    Given this "unprecedented situation that the people of Kerala are confronted with," the CPM PolitBuro has appealed to the entire country to contribute "generously to aid the rescue and relief operations."

  • 14:48 (IST)

    House collapses near Muthappa temple in  Madikeri

    Video by Coovercolly Indresh/ 101 Reporters

  • 14:45 (IST)

    B V Thomas  (location not specified on Twitter) asked for help for his family who are stuck without food and water in Chengannur

  • 14:44 (IST)

    Titus Abraham from US tweets, says his parents are stuck in Chenganur and asked for help to be send to his house:

  • 14:43 (IST)

    Relatives tweet about Kerala situation 

    People from outside state tweeting for help as they are unable to get in touch with family members while some are asking for help to rescue their family members stuck in homes in Kerala.
     
     

    Vinita Venugopal from Singapore tweeted for help for her 86-year-old grandmother who is stranded at Aranmula:

  • 14:39 (IST)

    Army personnel rescue 23 civilians from Eloor in Ernakulam district

    The Indian Army's 13 Garhwal Rifle column rescued 23 civilians from Ernakulam district's Eloor, using tubes and utensils to rescue ladies and children. 

  • 14:37 (IST)

    Passenger, vehicular traffic between Mangaluru and Bengaluru restricted

    Mangaluru to Bengaluru passenger and goods traffic is hanging on just one road which is through Charmady ghats. According to the National Highway engineers,  even that ghat is not totally safe and the district administration of both Dakshina Kannada and Chikkamagaluru have advised the people not to travel through the ghats. The KSRTC has closed all high value services like Volvo, Mercedes Benz and Corona indefinitely. Only KSRTC express bus services are kept in operation through the Charmady ghats.

    Input by M Raghuram/101 Reporters

  • 14:35 (IST)

    Two air force choppers sent to Madikeri

    Two air force helicopters under the command of NDRF have left Mangaluru airport for Madikeri. The NDRF team, comprising 35 rescue and recover personnel, is on their way to Kodagu. 

    Input by M Raghuram/101 Reporters

  • 14:30 (IST)

    WATCH: Flooding in Malappuram district's Alancode village

    Video by Lukmanul Hakeem

  • 14:26 (IST)

    Visuals from Idukki

    Images from a relief centre in Kumily in Idukki district after flood water entered villages in the vicinity.

  • 14:23 (IST)

    Actor Mohanlal tweets helpline number

    Malayalam actor Mohanlal tweeted an image carrying the helpline for navy chopper for rescue purposes. 

  • 14:13 (IST)

    12 more NDRF teams rushed to Kerala

    Twelve fresh teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been rushed by the Centre today to rain-battered Kerala. Six teams each are being airlifted from Delhi and Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and they will be dropped at Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, a force spokesperson said.

    On Wednesday, four teams of the federal disaster contingency force were sent to Kerala and with their addition the total number of NDRF teams operating in the state had gone up to 18.

  • 14:10 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi urges Narendra Modi to give special financial assistance to Kerala

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Thursday that he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the flood situation in Kerala. "Kerala is in great pain. I spoke to PM and requested him to massively increase deployment of the Army & Navy. I also said that it is critical that he gives the state special financial assistance as this is a tragedy without parallel in Kerala’s history," read the tweet. 

  • 14:05 (IST)

    CM warns water level in Periyar, Chalakudy will rise

  • 13:51 (IST)

    11 dead in Mallapuram

    According to a resident in Mallapuram, 11 have so far died in the area due to floods and landslides. The video, taken by a resident of the area, shows flooded neighbourhoods and people using inflated rubber boats to commute from one place to another. 

    Video by Lukmanul Hakeem

Kerala floods LIVE updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kerala tomorrow evening, Union Minister Alphons Kannathanam told reporters. The prime minister will leave Delhi after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cremation and will land in Kochi tomorrow night. He will tour the state to take stock of the flood situation on Saturday.

Torrential rain and floods played havoc in Kerala, claiming 30 lives today, swamping homes, destroying roads, and disrupting air and rail traffic in many places, officials said. Altogether 97 people have died in rain-related incidents since the second spell of monsoon fury got unleashed on 8 August.

The Centre today decided to send 35 more NDRF teams comprising nearly 1,000 personnel to shore up relief and rescue operations in rain-battered Kerala. The government had initially directed sending 12 fresh teams of the federal disaster contingency force to the state and later decided to airlift 23 more teams in order to scale up the operations. 18 teams of NDRF are already deployed in the state.

Kochi Metro has resumed its operations at 4 pm, today to help with the relief and rescue operation in the flood-hit district. The service will be free of charge for today. Meanwhile, the Kochi Airport which is completely inundated by flood water will remain closed till 26 AUgust. Earlier it was to resume operations on Saturday.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan appealed to the people living along the Chalakudy river and its tributaries to move to higher places.

The Central Water Commission has sounded a fresh warning in the Cauvery river basin. In a fresh release, it has said that there is a likelihood of heavy water discharge from the Kabini dam and Krishna Raja Sagara Dam. The combined released water would subsequently reach the Mettur Dam, Bhavani Sagar Dam and Amravathi Dam, which could cause severe flooding in downstream areas of Bhivani (Erode district) and Thirumukkudal (Karur district).

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami, on Thursday, responded to a letter by his Kerala counterpart, Pinarayi Vijayan. Palaniswami told the Kerala government that the Mullaperiyar dam which is managed by the Tamil Nadu government, is perfectly safe and it has been inspected by experts from time to time for any structural damages.

A total of 20 deaths have been reported so far from various parts of Kerala. This has taken the total toll, since 8 August when the worst floods in the history of Kerala hit state, up to 87.

National Crisis Management Committee met to review Kerala floods situation. Chiefs of three Services, Home and Defence secretaries attended the meeting. Nirmala Sitharaman in a series of tweets assured that every help sought by Kerala government will be extended.

"Several MPs have called for help. NRIs highlighted Pattamthitta, Ranni & Aranmula. Have directed Indian Air Force for airlifting people stranded on rooftops," Sitharaman tweeted. The defence minister said that she spoke with Pinarayi Vijayan who requested more boats, and life jackets. "Have instructed Defence Secretary to respond immediately. Awaiting the list from Chief Secretary, Kerala. There shall be no delay from our side. Additional IAF helicopters will be deployed," the defence minister said.

Twelve fresh teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been rushed by the Centre today to rain-battered Kerala. Six teams each are being airlifted from Delhi and Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and they will be dropped at Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, a force spokesperson said.

As the flood situation in Kerala gets worse, Pinarayi Vijayan warns people to move to safer locations as the water level in, both, Periyar and Chalakudy rivers will rise. "The water-level in both Periyar and Chalakudy rivers will rise. People in 1 km radius of Chalakudy, and those inside ½ km of radius of Aluva, must evacuate the place immediately," the chief minister tweeted.

The Indian Air Force has rescued 28 people from Pathanamthitta district. The survivors were rescued in INS Garuda. Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has warned high waves in the range of 3.5 - 4.0 meters till 11.30 pm on 17 August along the coast of Lakshadweep Islands from Minicoy to Bitra, Kerala from Vizhinjam to Kasargod and along the coast of Karnataka from Mangalore to Karwar.

The agency said that sea condition was likely to be rough to very rough over Southwest and central Arabian sea. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea over Karnataka, North Kerala coasts, over Lakshadweep area and Southwest and central Arabian sea.

The central government has agreed to deploy 40 more teams of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) to tackle the flood situation in the state. The decision was taken at a video conference state chief secretary had with the Union cabinet secretary today.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the Centre had asked the Air Force to send 10 more helicopters and Navy four more to the state. The additional helicopters are expected to arrive at Kochi by 1 pm, he added. The Centre has also asked Air Force to send 10 more helicopters

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the water level in the Periyar river was likely to rise by one more meter and urged people living on the banks of the river to move to safer places. He has also asked people living within 1 km from the bank of Chalakkudy river to be prepared to move out. Vijayan said people in many places were not willing to leave the homes thinking their area will not be flooded.

Speaking to reporters, Union Minister KJ Alphons said that these floods were the worst since 1924. At least, 12 districts in Kerala have been severely affected. "These are the worse floods since 1924. I met PM, Home Minister and Defence Minister yesterday. Army, Navy, IAF, Coast Guard and NDRF are conducting rescue and relief ops. It is predicted that water levels will rise," said KJ Alphons.

Ernakulam MP K V Thomas said that the rescue operations in the state were slipping from the hands of the state administration and large-scale help of the central government was required to save the state from the biggest disaster.

He said that he had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally intervention in the situation and send more Army and Naval forces to the state. He said there was big need for boats. The fibre and wooden boats available in the state were not suitable for the rescue operation. The state needs rubber boats, which are available with the Army and Navy.

Unprecedented rain swells Muvattupuzha river, Ernakulam, leaves most places inundated. People are being airlifted in Chalakudy and Bhoothathankettu areas. Survivors are advised to stand in open areas on top of buildings and houses to avoid possible hindrances by trees.

The flood situation in in Alappuzha district turned grim, especially in several places in Chengannur and Kuttanad taluks which are isolated and an unknown number of people remain stranded in their homes awaiting rescue.

Water level has risen in the region after the shutters of the Kakki, Anathodu and Kochu Pampa reservoirs, part of the Sabarigiri hydroelectric project in Pathanamthitta district, were opened, The Hindu reported.

The Kerala government has set up a helpline capable of tracking the location of the caller. Chief Minister’s office has appealed to people trapped in the floods to call 1077 from mobiles. Meanwhile, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has convened an emergency meeting to review the unprecedented situation caused by heavy rains.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has just called Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has requested him for more central forces to help in rescue and relief work. He has also asked for more helicopters. PM has promised all helpThe situation in Aluva, which is the worst-hit by the flood, has worsened with water entering even in relief camps. Local MLA Anwar Sadath said that thousands of people were trapped in seven panchayats of the taluk. The authorities have not been able to reach out to them in the absence of sufficient boats.

Palakkad inundated: Image by TK Devasia

Palakkad inundated: Image by TK Devasia

Kerala’s commercial capital of Kochi is being cut off from rest of the state with train services coming to a halt and road traffic disrupted in the NH 47. The Kochi airport on Wednesday had suspended operations till 2 pm on August 18. Thousands of vehicles are stranded on the NH 47 as several stretches between Aluva and Chalakkudy are in deep waters.

On the seventh day of Operation Madad, Southern Naval Command deployed 21 rescue and diving teams with Gemini boats in flood-hit Kerala as the monsoon has intensified in the state.

As the flood situation in Kerala is deteriorating day-by-day, a total of four teams went out on Wednesday to augment those already deployed in the areas. More than 81 people were rescued yesterday and many of them were also provided with food and shelter by setting up a rescue camp.

The IMD has issued red alerts in all districts today and in seven districts on Thursday. Hilly districts of Idukki and Wayanad are experincing extremely heavy rain and heavy rainfall in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts. The IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfalll in the remaining districts, including Ernakulam

Acute shortage of boats is hampering rescue operations in many areas in Kerala. The Pathanamthitta district administration has sought the services of fishing boats from Kollam to rescue hundreds of people stranded in various parts of the district following flood in the Pampa and Killiyar rivers. The Thrissur district administration has also sought fishing boats to rescue people stranded in the floods.

Nearly 70 people have been reported dead and thousands stranded in various part of Kerala after days of incessant rains. The flood situation in Kerala has further worsened with many areas inundated with death toll in the current spell of heavy rain rising to 35. Four people were killed when a mass of earth fell on a house at Erattupetta in Kottayam district on Thursday. Two people were killed in a house collapse at Thrissusr.

All rivers from northern district of Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in the south are in spate. Railways have suspended operations between Ernakulam and Palakkad stretch. The Kochi Metro has also suspended operations.

The shutters of 35 of the 39 dams in Kerala, including the 123-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam, have been opened for the first time in history, leaving large areas of the state at the risk of floods.

The heavy rain in Kerala since Tuesday filled the reservoirs of the dams to full capacity, and the fresh bout of rainfall on Wednesday claimed 21 lives, including seven members of a family, in a landslide in Malappuram district, and disrupted life in 12 of the 14 districts.

The Cochin International Airport on Wednesday suspended all flight operations till Saturday as the aerodrome was flooded following unabated rains and the opening of dam shutters in the Periyar river, prompting authorities to divert all incoming and outgoing flights to Thiruvananthapuram or Kozhikode. The Civil Aviation Ministry acceded to the state's request to utilise other airports in Kerala, instead of diverting the flights to Mumbai and other places.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted, "We have asked all airlines, domestic and foreign, to reschedule their Cochin flights either from Trivandrum or from Calicut (Kozhikode). For international flights, this will require special dispensation which has been granted considering the emergency. DGCA is coordinating." To the state government's request to allow small aircraft to land at the naval airport in Kochi, the minister said they were exploring alternative landing places for small aircraft.

"Kochi airport is not operating flights as runway is flooded.We shall explore possibilities of smaller aircraft's landing at alternate authorised landing places,will ensure all rescue operations will get full assistance from aviation ministry,will coordinate all with state govt (sic)," he said in another tweet. The minister also said that he had directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airport Authority to provide call centre facility to all stranded passengers as well as to provide requisite support to all rescue agencies so that "we ensure best possible solution to those unfortunately suffering from fury of nature".

Earlier, Kerala Chief Minster Pinarayi Vijayan called an urgent meeting at the Secretariat. The chief minister asked officials to make necessary arrangements to take passengers, who may be landing in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, to their respective places by state-run buses. The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), which decided to suspend the arrival operations at 4 am to 7 am today as a precautionary measure, had earlier said the airport would be shut till 2 pm. It later issued another advisory saying the operations have been suspended till Saturday afternoon. A spokesperson of the airport said, "Kochi Airport operations have been temporarily suspended till Saturday 2 pm as the inflow of water is still on a rising trend. We are working hard to drain out the storm water."

An official statement said the state government would soon approach the Civil Aviation Ministry asking whether small flights to Kochi could be allowed to land at the naval airport. In the morning hours, passengers faced problems due to suspension of operations as they had already reached the airport to catch flights. They complained of not getting assistance from any authorities. "Monitoring situation arising out of unprecedented Kerala floods to mitigate challenges faced by passengers.

Working with state government to ensure proper movement as much as possible in given situation. Airports Authority, DGCA Secy, all directed to provide best possible assistance(sic)," Prabhu tweeted. The Union minister informed that 14 international flights operated by airlines such as Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, Sri Lankan airways were rescheduled to and from Thiruvananthapuram instead of Kochi during the day. Besides, six international carriers including Gulf Air, Air Asia Berhad, Scoot and Silk Air cancelled their flights to Kochi.

Meanwhile, a government statement said that to cater to the stranded passengers, "scheduled domestic airlines have been advised to reschedule their flights to/from Cochin to Trivandrum and Calicut airports till such time the situation at Cochin airport returns to normal".

Scheduled domestic airlines have also been advised to operate relief flights to Thiruvananthapuram/Kozhikode for passengers of diverted flights, who have landed at Bangalore, Coimbatore and Chennai on 15 August 2018 morning instead of Kochi. Domestic carrier Vistara said it was operating special flights to Thiruvananthapuram in view of Kochi airport closure and will cap fares on economy class.

Flights will operate from Delhi and Chennai. In a tweet, the airline said, "economy class fares will be capped at Rs 10,000/7,500 respectively one way. We don't normally operate to TRV, and have made special arrangements," it said. Rains in the state have claimed 47 lives, officials said, adding a red alert has been sounded in 12 of the 14 districts.

According to weathermen, heavy rainfall accompanied by gusty winds with speed reaching 60 kmph, is expected in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode districts.


Updated Date: Aug 16, 2018 22:44 PM

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