In the face of the heavy floods and landslides triggered by the torrential rains across Kerala, the death toll in the southern state reached 37 on Saturday and red alert has also been issued in several districts by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). IMD issued red and orange alerts for several places until the next few days.
A red alert has been declared in Ernakulam, Palakkad, Malappuram and Calicut till August 11; Idukki and Wayanad till August 14; and in Kannur till August 13. An orange alert has also been issued in -- Ernakulam, Palakkad, Malappuram and Calicut till August 14; Kasaragod till August 13; Idukki and Wayanad till August 15 and Kannur till August 15.
The rain fury in the state has so far claimed 29 lives besides causing heavy damage to crops and destruction of property. More than 53,500 people were now staying in various relief camps across the state.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has made a personal contribution of Rs one lakh to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). Urging everyone to contribute generously to relief efforts, Vijayan said in a Facebook post that rebuilding the affected areas is going to be an arduous task.
The CM had also asked everyone to express solidarity with the people of the state in their hour of crisis.
Meanwhile, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy announced a relief assistance of Rs 1 crore to the Kerala government to tackle the situation arising out of floods. He also appealed to traders, industrialists and others to make generous contributions to the Puducherry Chief Minister Relief Fund which would be sent to the Kerala government for relief works.
Vijayan announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs four lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lives in the devastating floods that have hit the state.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release sufficient funds to the Kerala government to help respond to the flood crisis and restore critical infrastructure in the state. In a letter to the prime minister, Gandhi said the torrential rains, floods and wide-scale landslides have left behind a trail of destruction across Kerala.
Terming it as the "most severe disaster" that has struck the state in the last five decades, he said this natural calamity has resulted in massive economic and human losses. "At this juncture, it is critical to acknowledge the looming humanitarian crisis facing Kerala,? he said.
He expressed the hope that the Centre would cooperate with the state government in the massive relief and rehabilitation efforts which were underway. "I request you to release sufficient funds immediately to the state government, to enable the state to respond effectively, and work towards restoring critical infrastructure," Gandhi said in his letter to Modi.
Muddy homes, wells brimming with dirty water, clogged toilets, snakes and other reptiles crawling inside their houses was giving them sleepless nights, according to the victims of the Kerala floods.
Nearly 400 flood-affected people, including 85 children from Keerithod in Kanjikuzhy panchayat near Cheruthoni are in the camp for the past two days as a precautionary measure after water was released from Idukki dam. Eight villages have been affected due to the release of water from the dam and nearly 1,000 people have been shifted to 20 relief camps, official sources said.
All five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of Idukki reservoir, were opened yesterday after incessant heavy rains increased the water level in the reservoir. This is for the first time in the history that all the gates of the dam have been opened, underlying the gravity of the situation.
Meanwhile, people living at Kariveli Mannapuram in Aluva in Ernakulam district said mud and slush-filled their homes due to waterlogging and well water has turned muddy. Farmers in Puthenvelikara said about one lakh banana plants were destroyed in the region due to heavy rains and sought the state government to provide compensation.