169 killed in flood, rain-related incidents in South and West
   Date :12-Aug-2019

 
 
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/MUMBAI:
 
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. In Kerala, over 2.51 lakh people have taken shelter in 1,639 relief camps. The toll in the flood fury has gone up 72 while 58 people still 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 area. 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 force, volunteers and fishermen are involved in the rescue operation in various places. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited a relief camp in Wayanad and 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 August 8. 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 Mahendar Singh said in a letter to all railway general managers.
 
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. Karnataka Chief Minister B S 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. 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 were 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. 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.
 
 
4 lakh evacuated from flood-hit Mah, toll rises to 40
 
MUMBAI:
 
WITH the recovery of five more bodies, the death toll in the boat capsize tragedy in Sangli district has gone up to 17, even as over four lakh people have so far been evacuated from flood-affected parts of Maharashtra, officials said on Sunday. The deluge in Maharashtra has taken lives of 40 people as floods swamped the region causing largescale destruction. Even on the seventh day, the flood situation showed a marginal improvement as the water levels in the worst-hit Sangli and Kolhapur districts have been receding slowly. This is despite more than five lakh cusec of water discharge from Almatti dam on Krishna river in neighbouring Karnataka and light showers in the districts.
 
An official from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said Devendra Fadnavis briefed Shah in the morning about the current flood situation and the measures undertaken in the southern regions of Western Maharashtra. “We have been sending a daily dossier on the flood relief measures and co-ordination among various rescue teams to the Union Home ministry,” he said.
 
Around 105 teams of the Army, Air Force, Navy, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Coast Guard, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), police and local officials are carrying out rescue operations in the western Maharashtra region, officials said. While 54 teams are posted at Kolhapur, 51 teams are working in Sangli. A senior official said the total 4,48,000 people have so far been evacuated from flood-hit areas across the state, including 4.04 lakh people from Kolhapur and Sangli districts. “As of now 4.48 lakh people from various flood-hit districts, mostly from Sangli and Kolhapur, have been shifted to 372 temporary camps and shelters,” the official said. Kolhapur and Sangli districts have been battling unprecedented floods since the last seven days.
 
The floods were triggered by huge release of water from dams in western Maharashtra and from Almatti. Thane, Pune, Nashik, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Sindhudurg districts had also received heavy rains. According to the official, 761 villages in 69 talukas have been affected by floods. On Sunday, the Krishna river in Sangli was flowing 9.2 feet above its danger level of 45 feet, while the Panchganga river in Kolhapur at 7.6 feet higher than the danger mark of 43 feet, officials said. On Saturday, the Krishna river was flowing at 55.10 feet while the Panchganga river at 51.8 feet. “With the recovery of five more bodies the death toll in the boat capsize incident in Sangli has risen to 17.
 
A total of 40 people, including the 17, have lost their lives in the last seven days in rain-related incidents in five districts of western Maharashtra,” a district administration official said. ‘Heavy rain likely in flood-hit Kolhapur and Satara on Monday’: THE Met department has predicted heavy rains on Monday at isolated places in Pune, Kolhapur and Satara districts of Maharashtra, which are affected by severe floods. According to the regional centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), intensity of showers will reduce further on Tuesday, which will help in carrying out rescue operations. Similar forecast is also issued for coastal Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts which have been receiving excess showers for the last seven days. “Rest of Maharashtra would receive very light to light rains during the rest of the week,” the IMD said.