Kerala floods LIVE updates: IMD says no heavy rain warning for next four days; 22,034 more rescued today

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Kerala floods LIVE updates: IMD says no heavy rain warning for next four days; 22,034 more rescued today
  • 20:15 (IST)

    Karnataka housing secy to monitor relief measures in state

    The Karnataka state government has appointed  housing department secretary Anbu Kumar from Madikeri, ADGP Bhaskar Rao from Kushalnagar and Maria Christu Raja, IFS from Virajpet, to monitor relief measures. These officers are camping in these areas and will look after relief measures in the relief centers. The district administration declared holidays for all schools and colleges on 20 and 21.August. 

    Input by Coovercolly Indresh/101Reporters

  • 20:13 (IST)

    RSS-affiliated group and CPM cadres carry relief and rescue ops

  • 19:02 (IST)

    Naveen Patnaik directs Odisha Relief Commissioner to extend all help to people in Kerala

    Odisha CM directs Odisha Relief Commissioner to extend all help to people from the state stranded in Kerala, says 244 fire service personnel trained in rescue operations with 65 rescue boats and other equipment have been sent from the state.

  • 18:51 (IST)

    Ministry of Civil Aviation issues update on Kerala flights

    Ministry of Civil Aviation issues update on Kerala flights, says domestic flights have been increased to Trivandrum to minimise passenger inconvenience.

  • 18:45 (IST)

    Chengannur IHAD Engineering College Medical Camp stocks relief items 

    In Chengannur,  IHAD Engineering College Medical Camp stocks up on relief items. (Image courtesy: Byju, railway officer)

  • 18:25 (IST)

    Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis appeals everyone to stand firm with citizens of Kerala

    Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis appeals everyone to come forward and stand firm with citizens of Kerala during the floods. 

  • 18:19 (IST)

    Narendra Modi tweets about Karnataka floods, says all support being extended for relief operations

    Narendra Modi tweets about Karnataka floods, says, "Spoke to Karnataka CM HD kumaraswamy Ji regarding the flood situation in parts of the state. Extended all possible support in the rescue and relief operations."

  • 18:16 (IST)

    Kerala floods cause hike in prices of vegetables, green chillis

    The worst floods to batter Kerala since 1924 have fuelled shortages and sent prices of vegetables zooming, with green chillis selling at Rs 400 a kilogram in Kochi and surrounding areas. Very few shops are open in the first place. Those which are are making a killing, complain residents. After the retail price of green chillies went through the roof, angry locals sought police intervention and the cost came down. But even now it is costing Rs 120 a kilogram. Onions, potatoes and cabbage were being sold at Rs 90 a kilogram before police told the vendors to put up a price display board.

    The retail cost of rice and sugar has shot up by Rs 15. Frustrated residents organised a noisy protest at a shop in Kaloor near here, forcing again the police to intervene. The shop owner argued that he had no choice but to jack up the prices as he was paying more on transport. Officials have promised tough action against all those who make a killing at a time of misery.- IANS

  • 18:13 (IST)

    Meanwhile, massive landslides occurred along Nelliyampathy hill roads

    Road clearing operations are underway as massive landslides occured at Nelliyampathy hill roads of Kerala.

  • 18:11 (IST)

    Relief material for flood-hit people in Kerala being loaded onboard INS Mysore in Mumbai

    Cargoes full of relief material for the flood-affected of Kerala is being loaded on INS Mysore at Mumbai.

  • UAE reaching out to Kerala amid devastating floods highlights North India's apathy even more

    It is ironical in this disconnect, with even the media unable to spark a "Save Kerala, Help Kerala" campaign, that there seems to be more concern and empathy displayed at the Gulf Cooperation Council enclave. Over 3 million Malayalees work in the GCC members states, where over 2,00o associations, groups and clubs represent them. President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has ordered a National Emergency Committee to ensure relief for the victims of the floods in Kerala. The Emirates Red Crescent has been asked to do its bit, as well. (Read more here)

  • 17:58 (IST)

    Madikeri MLA MP Appachu Ranjan participates in Sunday's rescue operations in Mukkodlu

    Madikeri MLA  MP Appachu Ranjan (second from left) participated in Sunday's rescue operation in Mukkodlu near 25 kilometres from Madikeri. (Input from Coovercolly Indresh/ 101 Reporters

  • 17:56 (IST)

    IMD says no heavy rain warning in Kerala for next four days

    The India Meteorological Department said that the intensity of rainfall over Kerala has decreased over the past two days, and that there is no alert of heavy showers for the next four days in the state. The weather agency said it is expecting "heavy rainfall" only in Kozhikode, Kannur and Idduki districts. IMD Additional Director General Mritunjay Mohapatra said that Kerala recorded 9 centimetres of rainfall on Saturday. On 16 and 17 August, the state recorded 19 centimetres and 11 centimetres of rainfall, he added.- PTI

  • 17:54 (IST)

    Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy asks officers to expedite relief work in Madikeri

    In Karnataka's Madikeri, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy convened an officers' meeting and instructed officers to speed up relief work. (Inputs by Coovercolly Indresh/ 101 Reporters

  • 17:48 (IST)

    Water level has receded in Chengannur but slush is everywhere

    There is slush all around houses in Chengannur. (Image courtesy: Byju, railway officer)

  • 17:41 (IST)

    In Madikeri, Madapur relief camp victims raise slogans against PWD minister's son

    Meanwhile, in Madikeri, victims at Madapur relief camp near Somwarpet raised slogans against PWD minister H D Revanna's son, Prajwal, when he did not speak with the victims. (Inputs from Coovercolly Indresh/ 101 Reporters)

  • Only one phase of calamity over, rehabilitation next challenge: Pinarayi Vijayan

    Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan says only one phase of the calamity is over and rehabilitation is the next big challenge before us."The spirit that we showed in rescue work needs to be replicated in rehabilitation efforts also," the chief minister said. While 22,034 more people have been rescued today, the operations are going to continue he said. Vijayan further said that the government will take all steps to clean and sanitise houses after the water recedes and migrant labourers will be taken care of too.

  • 17:33 (IST)

    Team of villagers, RSS workers rescue 6 critically ill people from Madikeri

    A team of villagers and RSS workers on Sunday rescued 6 critically ill persons from Mukkodlu near Madikeri. All six are admitted to Madikeri government hospital for treatment and out of danger. The same team rescued more than 180 villagers on saturday. 

    (Inputs by Coovercolly Indresh/ 101 Reporters)

  • 17:25 (IST)

    NDRF teams rescue people from Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts

  • States incurred maximum losses where roads are concerned: Pinarayi Vijayan

    The chief minister in his media briefing also said that they have incurred the maximum losses when it comes to roads. Thanking NRIs for their support, the chief minister also mentioned states like West Bengal which has provided Rs 10 crore as relief funds. "This was the biggest calamity that we have ever faced. But it is the resilience and determination of our people that has helped us overcome it,"Vijayan said.

    "It was great to see the MLAs in the state  working together without political differences in this relief work."Mentioning that there have been attempts to sell essential commodties at a higher price at the moment, Vijayan said this will not be allowed at any cost.

  • It is a war like zone in Kerala, says railway officer aiding rescue operations

    Byju, a grievances officer working in Southern Railways, Trivandrum head office, has taken leave to help the flood-afflicted. Reiterating that he does not want any acknowledgement of the work he is doing, he shares his experiences with Firstpost. 

    Byju says that the scenes of the tragedy are like he has never seen before. "It is almost like watching a Hollywood film. The destruction to life and property is immense and heart-rending'.

    "There is an exodus like situation everywhere. People have lost their family members, homes, property and are completely in a state of shock and helplessness," he said. He shares an incident that he saw as part of a rescue team at Vazhar Mangalam near Chenganur. When the rescue team reached a house, they found a woman banging the door asking for help. The team was able to take the woman to the hospital. "After the woman was taken away to the hospital, we entered the house. We saw three bodies -- a paralysed youth of around 30 years named Remi who held hands with his grandparents," he says. 

    "I feel like I am in a war zone. Though the waters have receded, it is difficult to access some homes," Byju said. "The boundary walls of houses are strong and water has collected inside the compounds of houses. Many homes are in small inroads where the boats can't reach. The destruction is immense and the conditions of people pathetic," he said.

  • Special team will be formed for cleaning operations, 6 health inspectors to be in charge: Pinarayi Vijayan

    Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that the rescue operations are in its last leg with 8,46,680 people living in 3,734 camps across the state. Vijayan says the focus is to bring back life to normalcy through proper rehabilitation. While providing clean drinking water in affected areas is the government's top priority, special team will be formed for cleaning operations and six health inspectors per panchayat would be given the charge. School children who have lost their text books would be provided fresh ones immediately, Vijayan added. Those fishermen whose boats were damaged during rescue operation would be compensated with Rs 3,000 per day, he said.

  • 17:04 (IST)

    Homestays, resorts asked to cancel bookings till 31 August

    Kodagu DC PI Sreevidya on Sunday ordered all homestays, resorts, hotels and lodges to cancel bookings till 31 August. (Input by Coovercolly Indresh/101 Reporters)

  • 16:54 (IST)

    RAF builds temporary bridge in Erumachery to block flooding water

    A temporary bridge is being built by Rapid Action Force(RAF) in Erumachery to block flooding water.

  • 16:49 (IST)

    Calicut's Kakkodi is a story of resilience, survival as locals help each other get back on their feet

    While various parts of central Kerala are still battling the ongoing flood, Calicut has started seeing sunnier days. The water levels are coming down and people are gradually trying to resume their normal lives. With heavy rains and discharge from the Kakkeyam Dam in the last few days, Kakkodi panchayat has witnessed its share of flooding and chaos. But with the help of the local community, the situation was in control before things got out of hand. (Read more here)

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Gadgil Committee had identified regions in Kerala among ecologically fragile ones

    An article by Kavya Narayanan notes:

    Back in 2011, the Gadgil Committee put together a bunch of recommendations to the central government about ecologically-fragile regions in the Western Ghats. They found the highest number of vulnerable zones in Kerala and cited several reasons for them being classified as such.Some reasons for its vulnerability were geographical, a challenge posed by its position amidst the Ghats. Many other causes – quarrying, mining, illegal repurposing of forests, and high-rise building constructions – were man-made, controllable factors that the state chose to brush aside.

    “The flooding has definitely brought to light the existence of illegal stone quarries or a large number of unauthorised constructions on river beds,” Professor Madhav Gadgil said to PTI. "In this sense, it is definitely a man-made calamity where intense rainfall and human intervention have made it a serious disaster."

  • 16:15 (IST)

    Coast Guard ship leaves for Kochi from Mumbai with relief material

    An Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ship, carrying 65 tonnes of relief material for flood victims in Kerala, left Mumbai this morning, an official said.

    The consignment on board the ship, 'Sankalp', includes items donated by people to various NGOs and the Maharashtra government, a spokesperson of the ICG western region said.

    It is expected to reach the Kochi port by Monday, he said.

    Another ship with 50 tonnes of relief material was also scheduled to leave from the New Mangaluru port for Kochi on Sunday, he said.


  • 16:05 (IST)

    Toll rises to 370

    The toll due to the devastating rains and floods in Kerala increased to 370, as two more deaths were reported on Sunday with rescue operations continuing in the worst affected districts of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur.


  • 15:54 (IST)

    Idukki Dam closes two shutters

    Some more good news- the Idukki Dam has closed two of its shutters. Earlier, all shutters of the dam had been opened, as for the first time in its history, the outflow from the reservoir was 4.25 lakh litres (4.25 cumecs) per second. 

    Heavy rains unlikely in Kerala in the next two days giving chance to complete all rescue work. 

    Train services between Thiruvananthapuram - Ernakulam have been reinstated, and passenger services are on.

    Input by Naveen Nair

  • 15:48 (IST)

    Pathanamthitta district gets some relief

    Rain has completely stayed away from Pandanad and other areas of Pathanamthitta district bringing tremendous relief for the stranded people. Rescue & relief ops in full swing at the moment.

    An article on 18 August had mentioned the manner in which thousands of families had been stranded in Pandanad without food and water.

    Water has started receding from areas in Chengannur & Aluva which were among the worst affected.

    Input by Naveen Nair

  • 15:38 (IST)

    Telangana home minister gives cheque of Rs 25 crore to Pinarayi Vijayan

  • 15:34 (IST)

    Indian Air Force dropping food & relief mateials in Pathanamthitta district 

  • 15:25 (IST)

    NCC steps up for rescue efforts

    The National Cadet Corps' unit in Kottayam has rescued over 100 people, and has also provided relief to about 3,000 people in various regions of Kerala, News18 reported. 

  • 15:16 (IST)

    West Indies cricketer Dwayne Bravo has appealed for help to those affected by the floods

  • Relief materials can be dropped off at Kerala House, Adarsh Vidyalaya for those in Mumbai (2/2)

    Following materials will be accepted:-
    1. Rice - 5 kg pack
    2. Atta - 2 kg pack
    3. Sugar - 1 kg pack 
    4. Biscuits/dry fruits
    5. Bedsheet
    6. Nighty
    7. Sanitary pads
    8. Tooth paste & brush
    9. Soap
    10. Itch Guard 
    11. Lungi
    12. Under garments for ladies/gents/kids
    13. Barmuda
    14. Towel
    15. Chlorine powder
    16. Bleaching powder

    The above unused/well packed materials will be accepted at the collection centres till 25 August, 2018.

  • 15:02 (IST)

    Relief materials can be dropped off at Kerala House, Adarsh Vidyalaya for those in Mumbai (1/2)

    Those in Navi Mumbai wishing to contribute relief material, can do so at Kerala House. The collection will be dispatched in the next few days. Those in Mumbai can bring it over to Adarsh Vidyalaya, Chembur

    As part of Kerala's flood relief efforts, emergency materials will be collected by the Keraleeya Kendra Sanghatana, Mumbai at the following  centres:-

    1. Keraleeya Kendra Sanghatana Mumbai , Matunga : - 022-24013774

    2. Bandra Malayalee Samajam: - 9869006440

    3. Andheri Malayalee Samajam - 9820063617

    4. Bombay Keraleeya Samiti, Malad: - 9820498232 / 022-28886755

    5. Dahisar Malayalee Samajam: - 022-28482111 / 9820140075

    6. Mulund Kerala Samajam - 9757404035 / 022-25617351

    7. Kalyan Malayalee Samajam, Kalyan West - 7208553198

    8. Kulagaon Badlapur Malayalee Samajam: - 7798246385

    9. Khargar Kerala Samajam :- 9833367567

  • MobiKwik pledges to donate Rs 5 for every donation made through its app

    MobiKwik, India’s largest digital financial services company, has pledged to contribute Rs 5 for every donation made through its app to Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). The initiative was undertaken in view of the distressing flood situation in Kerala.

    Commenting on the contribution, Ms. Upasana Taku, Co-Founder and Director, MobiKwik said, “MobiKwik is a socially responsible organization committed to extend all possible help to communities in testing times. We as a brand urge every Indian to express solidarity with the state and the unfortunate calamity it has fallen victim to. We have decided to contribute to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief fund for every single donation through MobiKwik app. Our prayers are with the people of Kerala and we sincerely hope that the situation will soon improve.”

  • 14:55 (IST)

    Karnataka: HD Kumaraswamy conducts aerial survey

    Chief Minister of Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy, inspecting the rain hit areas through an aerial survey on Sunday.

    Input by Coovercolly Indresh/ 101 Reporters

  • Toppled furniture, snakes greet residents after water recedes homes in Ranni

    In the aftermath of floods in Kerala, residents found houses filled with snakes, mud, toppled furniture in Ranni after water receded.

  • 14:47 (IST)

    Naval ships disembark ration, drinking water

    Indian naval ship Deepak disembarked rations and drinking water at the Southern Navy Command on Sunday. 

  • 14:40 (IST)

    TVS Motors donates Rs 1cr to relief fun

    "TVS Motor Company contributed Rs 1 crore to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), in lieu of the distressing flood situation in Kerala. The cheque was handed over to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by Swaran Singh, CEO, Srinivasan Services Trust (SST)- the social arm of TVS Motor Company in Thiruvananthapuram," the firm said. 

  • Kerala minister visits relief camp in Chengannur

    Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja visits a relief camp in Chengannur on Sunday. 

  • 14:26 (IST)

    Community kitchen set up at naval base

    A community kitchen set up at the Kochi naval base is catering to nearly 7,000 people affected by the floods. 

  • 14:20 (IST)

    23,213 people saved n rescue ops so far, says defence ministry

    In a tweet, the defence ministry said that approximately 23,213 people were rescued by the armed forces on Sunday. More than 2,000 people were provided with medical aid. Twenty-two landslides were cleared and connectivity restored at 42 locations. Fifteen temporary bridges were also constructed by the Indian Army.

  • 14:12 (IST)

    Kerala govt declines donations in kind from foreign countries

    The Kerala government has issued a notification declining donations in kind from abroad. "We have taken a decision not to accept any donations in kind from outside the country. So Government may not be able to receive it. Please route such in-kind donations through voluntary organisations, if procured," the government said in an official statement.

  • 14:11 (IST)

    Air Force provides relief material in flood-hit areas

  • 14:03 (IST)

    Destroyer INS Mysore to be dispatched to Kochi for relief efforts

  • 14:02 (IST)

    Fuel shortage leads to fuel theft in Kerala

    In most places in Kochi, people are resorting to theft from parked vehicles as most fuel pumps are not operational, reported News18. The ones that are operational have serpentine queues. This is not just in Kochi, but across central Kerala. Local teams are still not able to get to far-off places for relief efforts, although rescue operations are going on unhindered. 

  • 13:35 (IST)

    At least 18 trains cancelled today

    The Railways has cancelled at least 18 trains, partially cancelled nine and diverted Sunday's Kanyakumari-Mumbai CST Express train via Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Madurai, Dindigul and Erode.

  • 13:33 (IST)

    WATCH: Residents vacate houses in Madikeri in Karnataka

    Residents vacate houses in Kushalnagar in Madikeri on Sunday.

    Video by Coovercolly Indresh/101 Reporters

Kerala floods latest updates: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan says only one phase of the calamity is over and rehabilitation is the next big challenge before us."The spirit that we showed in rescue work needs to be replicated in rehabilitation efforts also," the chief minister said. Around 8 lakh have been displaced in the deluge so far; Vijayan says rescue operations are in the last leg. Further, train services between Thiruvananthapuram - Ernakulam have been reinstated, and passenger services are on.

 In a tweet, the defence ministry said that approximately 23,213 people were rescued by the armed forces on Sunday. More than 2,000 people were provided with medical aid. Twenty-two landslides were cleared and connectivity restored at 42 locations. Fifteen temporary bridges were also constructed by the Indian Army.

Thousands of people in flood-hit areas in Kerala are battling all odds to survive as the death toll has touched 197 in the past 10 days in the second spell of monsoon fury since 8 August. Many are still stranded in their homes with no food and sheaths of water around them at various places in Alapuzha, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts.

Alappuzha District Collector S Suhas claimed that 97 percent of the people marooned in the flooded Kuttanad region have been evacuated and efforts are on to rescue the remaining.

Acknowledging the commendable job of the Indian Armed forces, the KJ Alphons said, "The NDRF and the paramilitary forces are working day and night. We have close to one million people in relief camps and we need to feed them. We have the armed forces, NDRF, paramilitary Forces at work."

As of 10 am on Sunday, the water level in the Idukki reservoir was 2,402.28 feet. The water flow into Periyar river is 913 cusecs per hour. Two shutters of the dam have been closed. The Alappuzha police have arrested five people, who have refused to lend their houseboats for rescue operations in the Kuttanad region, where a massive evacuation is on following flood in the Pampa river.

In the wake of massive floods in Kerala, the Centre on Friday decided to open Kochi Naval airstrip for use by commercial aircraft by Monday and deploy five more choppers, taking the total number of aircraft used for rescue and relief to 96.

An official from the Disaster Management Authority control room said 409 houses were fully and 4,680 houses were partially destroyed in the floods since 8 August. The crop loss estimated till Saturday was worth Rs 224.21 crores.

With mass evacuation from Kuttanad region in Kerala beginning, the number of people shifted to relief camps across Kerala has crossed 8.45 lakh. Meanwhile, Cases of chicken pox infection has been reported from a relief camp in Ernakulam district. According to information three people at Aluva UCC college camp have been diagnosed with the air-borne disease.

In one of the biggest rescue operations carried out in India, officials said that 67 helicopters, 24 aeroplanes and 548 motorboats have been deployed for rescue and relief operations across flood-ravaged Kerala.

The death toll due to rains and floods in Kerala has gone up to 368 this monsoon season, as 33 more deaths were reported on Saturday even as around 58,000 people were rescued in different parts of the state, and red alert continued in 11 districts following prediction of more rains.

The India Meteorological Department forecast on Saturday afternoon that widespread rains, with heavy rains at isolated places, is likely to continue over Kerala following low pressure area developing over northwest Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood during the next 24 hours.

While around 60,000 people were rescued in districts like Ernakulam, Chengannur, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur, there are still many more waiting to be rescued.

Barring Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kasargod, the remaining 11 districts of Kerala were on red alert on Saturday.

The worst affected places include Aluva, Chalakudy, Chengannur, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta, where massive rescue operations were on as scores of persons were rescued.

Media houses continued to be flooded with requests from friends and relatives of those stranded in affected areas.

 Kerala floods LIVE updates: IMD says no heavy rain warning for next four days; 22,034 more rescued today

Representational image. Reuters

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a review meeting in Kochi that the death toll since 29 May had climbed to 357. Over 3.53 lakh affected persons had been lodged in over 2,000 relief camps, he said.

Modi sanctioned Rs 500 crore to the flood-battered state, apart from Rs 100 crore announced earlier by the Centre on 12 August, before returning to Delhi after an aerial survey of the affected areas.

The 33 deaths reported during the day were in Ernakulam, Thrissur, Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts.

Vijayan told the media here the situation is "very serious and grave".

"The death toll would have been higher, but for the work we did. Things are under control," said Vijayan, whose government was flayed by Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala for failing to take up rescue and relief work effectively.

Food Minister P Thilothaman, camping at Chengannur, told the media: "The need of the hour is to provide food packets and drinking water to the people. About 15 small boats of the Navy are expected to join rescue and relief work. But, after dusk, no rescues are possible. Helicopters are also needed for faster evacuation."

Meanwhile, anger mounted across Kerala as coordination of rescue work went haywire due to the magnitude of the calamity.

"There are several people who are waiting to be rescued in areas like Pandanad (near Chengannur) and I saw two bodies floating in the water. If there is anymore delay in, things will taken a turn for the worse. We are drinking rain water to keep us going...," said a resident of Pandanad.

On late Saturday evening, a 150-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team started rescue operations in and around affected areas of Chengannur.

Congress legislator VD Sateeshan, who was spearheading the rescue operations in Paravur in Ernakulam district, said that he stood before a rescue boat team with folded hands and they obliged and rescued several people.

"In the camp at my place, there are 7,000 people and despite passionate pleas this camp has not received any government help at all. Several people have to take medicines for lifestyle diseases, but no medical kits have come. I have spoken to the Chief Minister down to all...All I got is assurances," said Sateeshan.

National award winning actor Salimkumar, after remaining holed up in his house along with 45 others for three days, was finally rescued by a fishing boat on Saturday evening.

"I was receiving daily calls from NDRF officials even from Delhi that rescue will happen very soon, but help came after three days," said Salimkumar.

Flaying the state for "failing in the endeavour", Leader of Opposition Chennithala said: "I have been flooded with calls from the affected persons. Even now, thousands of people are stranded. The Chief Minister dismissed with contempt when I said this week that rescue and relief should be handed over to the Army. I do not want to blame anyone but it has been proved beyond doubt that the state government has failed."

Alappuzha Superintendent of Police AP Surendran said: "Things are moving fast on Saturday. Helicopters and more boats have been pressed into service. We are confident we will be able to rescue more stranded people."

More fishing boats from various places reached the affected areas during the day.

Alappuzha District Collector S Suhas said since morning 150 boats including house boats have been engaged in rescuing people and "today (Saturday) we have by now evacuated about 75 per cent of people who were waiting to be rescued".

"Around two lakhs people are now in various camps. This could well be the biggest rescue operation. At some places the water is very rough and various types of boats are rescuing people," Suhas said.

Journalist-turned-CPM legislator Veena George on Saturday turned critical "due to the way the government machinery in Pathanamthitta has been working".

"None has a clue of how many people have been rescued and how many are left to be rescued. There seems to be disconnect in coordination of the operations," said George.

The situation in Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad and Wayanad inched towards comparative normalcy as rains slowed and water level receded, with many living in crowded relief camps awaiting to return home.

But a landslide near Nelliyampathy in Palakkad district has left around 1,000 people cut off from the mainland and the Army is working to clear the debris.

At several places in waterlogged areas, banks could not function normally since staff failed to report for the duty due to flooding.

Railway services between Ernakulam and Thrissur remained suspended on Saturday with long-distance trains diverted via the Nagercoil route.

A trial run on the Kottayam sector took place later in the day, as all services on this route were suspended for the past two days.

Certain blockades on the Thrissur-Palakkad-Aluva highway was cleared for traffic. Army personnel worked hard to clear the roads to Munnar.

Kerala is facing the heaviest rains and consequent widespread floods and destruction since 1924, which the state estimates has caused a loss of over Rs 19,500 crore.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 19, 2018 20:15:30 IST