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Kerala rains cause damages worth over Rs 8,000cr: Pinarayi Vijayan demands extra funds, warns of long-term impact of disaster

The overall damage caused due to heavy rains in Kerala was worth Rs 8,316 crore, as per initial reports, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Sunday. Taking to Twitter, the chief minister said he has requested for an additional Rs 400 crore-assistance from the home ministry to carry out immediate relief and rehabilitation work in the state.

"The impact of the disaster is likely to be felt for a long time. The preliminary assessment indicates that nearly 20,000 houses have been fully damaged and nearly 10,000 kilometre of state PWD roads are damaged. The preliminary loss is around Rs 8,316 crore," he tweeted. "The chief minister has requested an amount of Rs 400 crore in addition to the Rs 800 crore already sought for carrying out the immediate relief and rehabilitation. CM also requested that a Central team may be sent again to assess the damages that have occurred during the last week," a second tweet read.

The state government has also requested the Centre to declare the calamity a 'rare severity' and provide the required funds and assistance within four weeks. Earlier on Sunday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, after meeting flood victims in Kerala and taking an aerial overview of the situation in the state, announced an additional Rs 100 crore flood relief.

The home minister also approved the release of the second installment in advance for the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to supplement the efforts of the state government. Terming the situation in the state as something never witnessed by the state since Independence said the rains and floods had caused "massive damage" to the farm sector and infrastructure like roads and power.

"Kerala is facing an unprecedented flood situation. It is unprecedented because never before in the history of independent India has Kerala witnessed such massive floods," he told reporters. "I understand the suffering of the people of Kerala from the present crisis. Since assessment of the damage will take time, I hereby announce immediate relief as advance of Rs 100 crore," the minister said.

Disaster Management team rescues flood-hit people at Vithiri in Wayanad. PTI

Disaster Management team rescues flood-hit people at Vithiri in Wayanad. PTI

Singh recalled the flood situation in Kerala last month and said that just before he came to the state today, he sanctioned release of the second installment of Rs 80.25 crore in advance for the State Disaster Relief Fund. The first installment of a similar amount of the Central share of SDRF for 2018-19 was released last month, he said.

"The Centre is extremely sensitive to the needs of the Kerala at this critical juncture," he said. The minister said three teams of NDRF had been pre-positioned in Kerala during the current monsoon season. "Eleven more NDRF teams have been deployed in the state, taking the total number of NDRF teams to 14. If needed we will press in additional teams," Singh said in a tweet. Earlier, Singh visited a relief camp at Elanthikkara in Paravur Taluk in Ernakulam district.

No fresh casualties were reported since Friday and the toll in the rain-related incidents since the current monsoon fury from 8 August stood at 37, officials said. Thousands of people have been accommodated in relief camps set up in different areas, including in Wayand, where over 14,000 people had been sheltered.

Flash floods due to incessant rains have wreaked havoc in several districts of the state. From past few days, normal life in many parts has been disrupted. The areas which were worst hit are Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Idukki, and Mallapuram districts.

The National Disaster Management Authority had on Friday warned that heavy to very heavy rains were expected in 16 states, including Kerala, till Sunday. The weather department has issued a 'Red alert', asking people to be cautious as there was a possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall in most places in Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur, Ernakulam, Palakkad and Malappuram districts. However, water level in Idukki and Idamalayar dams reduced, bringing some relief, with authorities saying there was no need for people living downstream to panic. However, the Meteorological Department has predicted heavy to very heavy rains in eight of 14 districts of Kerala for the next four days.

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Aug 13, 2018 08:21 AM

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