Thirty-three people died due to rain and flooding on Saturday, taking the total number of rain-related deaths in Kerala since May 29 to 357. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected regions in the state on Saturday and announced a Rs 500-crore relief package for the state.
The India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rain in three districts of the state on Sunday. Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Thrissur are the worst-affected districts. Rescue operations are going on, even as the situation remains critical in Chengannur and Chalakkudy towns.
Other state governments, such as Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and Haryana, have announced contributions to the relief work, as have the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Many people are using social media to spread information and connect people to those who can help them. Social media users are posting messages with the hashtag #KeralaFloods to coordinate their operations.
Here is how the day unfolded:
9.35 pm: Water level is receding in most places, the chief minister says, adding that it is rising in Kuttanad. He adds that Kakki dam in Pathanamthitta district has not been opened.
9.33 pm: Thirty three people died on Saturday, Vijayan says. He adds that 58,506 people were saved on Saturday. The toll now rises to 357.
9.30 pm: Three flights, one to Coimbatore and two to Bengaluru, will begin operations from the Kochi Naval Base airport from Monday, says Vijayan.
9.21 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reiterates the state’s losses stand at Rs 19,512 crore. “We asked Centre for an immediate relief of Rs 2,000 crore,” he says. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced relief of Rs 500 crore earlier in the day.
Vijayan adds that the prime minister, home minister and defence minister were informed of the situation in the state every day.
9.18 pm: Attorney General KK Venugopal donates Rs 1 crore to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund to aid rescue efforts, reports PTI. His son, senior advocate Krishnan Venugopal, contributes Rs 15 lakh.
9.15 pm: In a press conference, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the state government gave warnings to Wayanad, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Kozhikode, and Kannur much in advance, reports the Hindustan Times.
9.09 pm: According to the NCMC, several Central ministries have so far made available food, water, and medicines, including 3 lakh packets of food, 6 lakh metric tonnes of milk, 14 lakh litres of drinking water, and 150 potable water purification kits with a capacity of 1 lakh litre each, reports ANI.
9.07 pm: The National Crisis Management Committee says 67 helicopters, 24 aircraft, 548 motorboats, and thousands of rescue personnel from the Navy, Army, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force, Coast Guard, and other CAPFs have been deployed to evacuate people to relief camps and distribute relief materials, reports ANI. As per requests of the Kerala government, more than 6,900 life jackets, 3,000 life buoys, 167 inflatable tower lights, 2,100 raincoats, 1,300 gumboots, and 153 chainsaws have been provided. The Cabinet Secretary has ordered that five more helicopters will be pressed into service by Sunday. They will be mobilised by the Air Force, Navy, and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
8.37 pm: Kasargod, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram are expected to get only light to moderate rainfall.
8.32 pm: Isolated places in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall on Sunday.
8.26 pm: The India Meteorological Department’s latest bulletin issues an alert and forecasts heavy rainfall at Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Idukki districts on Sunday. It has withdrawn the red alert, a warning for heavy rainfall, issued for Saturday, from eight districts. Only Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Idukki districts now have a warning of heavy rain on Saturday.
8.21 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi urges the centre to release more than Rs 500 crore and declare the floods a natural disaster.
8.19 pm: Kochi naval air strip will be made available for commercial aircraft operations from Monday, reports PTI.
8.18 pm: Special trains running between several stations to restore connectivity in Kerala, says Southern Railway.
8.15 pm: Water gushes as a road breaks down in Arattupuzha village near Puthukkad in Thrissur district. Several people are reportedly stranded in the village.
8.04 pm: Now, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announces Rs 5 crore from the state government for Kerala.
8.02 pm: Mobile networks break down in some areas of the state such as Ernakulam, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Idukki and Kottayam, as floods disrupt electricity and fuel supply.
7.33 pm: A 29-wagon train with 14.5 lakh litres of drinking water for Kerala left Pune around 5 pm, reports the Hindustan Times. It is expected to reach Kayankulam junction by Sunday.
7.26 pm: Kerala minister G Sudhakaran says that a massive rescue operation is underway in Chengannur, where more than 300 people have been rescued, reports ANI.
7.24 pm: In a letter written by the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pilots of Air India Airbus 320 and Boeing 787 flights commit to flying planes without payment to help out in the rescue operations, reports ANI.
7.12 pm: Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan have thanked prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, for contributing towards the aid efforts.
7.01 pm: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur announces Rs 5 crore as help for Kerala, reports ANI.
6.59 pm: The Directorate of Health Services has issued advisories for the public and medical workers in relief camps regarding measures to be taken during the floods and after. Read more here.
6.54 pm: “There are people who need emergency medical help, roads have to be cleared in many parts, many victim bodies are feared trapped and they need to be retrieved including a family killed in landslides on Friday night at Upputhodu in the district,” The Indian Express quotes an MP from Idukki, Joice George, as saying. He said relief camps are desperate for food, vegetables, clothes, including undergarments and sanitary napkins for women.
6.48 pm: Air operations at various places in Thrissur, Ernakulam, and Pathanamthitta districts have rescued more than 154 people till now, reports ANI. Various aircraft, including ALH, Sea King, Chetak, and MI 17 (of the Indian Air Force) helped. Rescue operations have also been scaled up, with SNC rescue teams augmented by Gemini boats, divers, and other resources from both Eastern and Western Naval Commands of the India Navy. Seventy-two diving teams have been deployed across several locations.
6.40 pm: Four deaths have been confirmed from Pandanad in Chengannur after rescue workers reportedly spotted four bodies floating inside two houses, reports Firstpost.
6.30 pm: An alert has been sounded along the banks of Pampa River in Pathanamthitta district after shutters at Kakki dam are raised, reports Manorama.
6.22 pm: The Indian Navy conducts rescue operation in flood-affected areas of Chengannur, reports ANI.
6.20 pm: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation allows to send flood relief material to Kodagu and Kerala free of cost, reports ANI.
6.15 pm: The Delhi government will send water and dry food to Kerala after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with the Resident Commissioner of Kerala to find out requirements. “All SDM offices will act as collection centres for clothes, bedsheets, and blankets,” tweeted Kejriwal.
6.01 pm: Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda is constantly monitoring the situation, reports ANI. The Centre is coordinating with Kerala and working to provide medicines needed for post-flood prevention of vector-borne diseases, acute diarrhoeal diseases, zoonotic diseases, snake bites, and dog bites besides focusing on disinfection of drinking water sources.
5.59 pm: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation has deployed three Airavat club-class buses to pick up more than 150 people stranded in Kerala’s Thrissur free of cost, from Palghat to Mangaluru, reports ANI.
5.56 pm: The Indian Navy is rushing INS Deepak from Mumbai to Kochi with eight lakh litres of drinking water, according to the Press Information Bureau. It is scheduled to reach on Sunday morning.
5.51 pm: No mobile connectivity or electricity in Chalakudy in Thrissur district, according to Scroll reporter TA Ameerudheen.
5.37 pm: Landslides and floods have damaged several roads in Palakkad, ANI reports.
5.35 pm: Train services from Ernakulam to Kottayam restored, reports Manorama.
5.34 pm: Sharjah ruler Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi announces Rs 4 crore to help Kerala.
5.22 pm: Union minister Piyush Goyal announces that railways will transport relief materials to Kerala for free, ANI reports.
5.17 pm: Some families stranded in Pandanad in Alappuzha district have been saved, reports Firstpost. One of the survivors is quoted as saying, “We have been saved by fishermen from Kollam on their countrymade boats. No one from the government side came to our help. We survived by drinking rain water for four days.”
They added that thousands of people are still stranded in the village.
5.14 pm: Three shutters of Mullaperiyar dam raised to three feet after water in the lake crossed 141 feet, reports Firstpost. There was 141.30 feet of water as of 2 pm, say sources in the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.
5.10 pm: United Nations says it is “following the floods very closely”, according to PTI. “The United Nations is of course saddened by the loss of life, destruction and displacement caused by floods in India,” says Stephane Dujarric, the UN Secretary General’s spokesperson. “India has quite a well-operated machinery to deal with natural disasters but of course our country team – I was in touch with our Resident Coordinator today – they’re following closely and they’re in touch with partners on the ground,” he said.
5.04 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan says the state has released Rs 10 crore for Kerala.
4.48 pm: Calicut University will arrange certificates for former students who have lost them in the flood, reports Manorama.
4.47 pm: After Aam Aadmi Party leaders, Congress also announces that its MPs, MLAs and MLCs will donate a month’s salary for relief work in Kerala.
4.45 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath announces Rs 15 crore for Kerala, ANI reports.
4.41 pm: Chalakudy town has no connectivity, reports TheNewsMinute.
4.09 pm: The Kerala Water Authority has opened round-the-clock control rooms in areas affected by floods to ensure the supply of drinking water, reports Firstpost.
3.50 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announces that all Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and MPs will donate a month’s salary to aid the Kerala government in its rescue services.
The Delhi government announced aid of Rs 10 crore for relief work on Friday.
3.48 pm: Southern Railway announces changes in train services due to flash floods and closure of section between Shoranur and Kozhikode in the Palghat Division and Ernakulam, Kottayam, Kayamkulam section in the Trivandrum Division. You can see the changes here.
3.46 pm: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh also offered help to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, reports ANI.
3.42 pm: Union Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu announces that 23 flights to Kochi and 24 flights leaving the city have been rescheduled and an additional 19 flights will be operated to and from nearby airports such as Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Mangaluru and Coimbatore.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation asked airlines to operate additional flights to Kerala as the state’s busiest airport in Kochi has shut operations till August 26. The aviation regulator said on Friday that it is constantly monitoring airfares to and from Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Mangalore and Coimbatore. “Airlines have been requested to cap maximum fare around Rs 10,000 on longer routes and around 8,000 on shorter routes to/from Kerala and nearby airports,” it said.
3.28 pm: Jharkhand government announces an aid of Rs 5 crore for flood-ravaged Kerala.
3.27 pm: Maharashtra government announces assistance of Rs 20 crore for Kerala, reports ANI.
3.11 pm: Gujarat government announces Rs 10 crore to Kerala from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, reports The Hindu.
3 pm: Kerala health department introduces a medical helpline number 9946992995, according to The Hindu. The administration has urged people to not use it for rescue-related support and to only use it to seek for medical help.
2.55 pm: Some people, led by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union, protest against the Centre in Delhi. “All districts have been affected and the Kerala Govt has received no help from the central government,” a statement by the students union says. “A natural disaster of this proportion has been ignored by the Modi government. This is a national disaster which requires the immediate intervention of the Modi government to provide all technical-logistical support.”
They claim the police are trying to take them to Jantar Mantar though they wanted to go to the Home Ministry to protest.
2.40 pm: The India Meteorological Department says there won’t be extremely heavy rains anymore as the intensity has decreased, ANI reports. But there will heavy rains for two more days.
2.30 pm: Journalists and other people on the ground share stories of resilience from the Kerala floods and the challenges that the state faces.
2.01 pm: Tamil Nadu government announces aid of Rs 5 crore. The state government will also send a group of doctors, medicines, rice, milk, clothes and other provisions.
Attorney General KK Venugopal has donated Rs 1 crore to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, reports Malayala Manorama.
1.48 pm: The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert in 11 districts in the state, except Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kasargod.
The weather department had earlier today withdrawn its red alert in 12 districts, except Ernakulam and Idukki.
1.42 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee extends her support to flood victims. “Words alone are not enough,” she says. “Yet I must tell all my brothers and sisters of Kerala that our thoughts and prayers are with each one of you. Condolences to those families who have lost their loved ones. Strength to those who are fighting the [Kerala floods].”
1.38 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announces aid of Rs 10 crore for from Bihar Chief Minister Relief Fund.
1.27 pm: The Indian Army has deployed two trucks carrying relief material that can navigate through flood water to Chalakkudy. The trucks are on their way to Thrissur from Coimbatore, reports Malayala Manorama.
Thiruvananthapuram City Police sends 20 fibreglass boats to Chengannur to assist in rescue work.
1.24 pm: The Finance Ministry has asked public sector general insurance companies and the Life Insurance Corporation to nominate a senior nodal officer in Kerala to expedite settlement of claims, reports The Indian Express. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has asked them to report the progress.
1.21 pm: Kerala State Road Transport Corporation will increase bus services to the border regions of Kottayam, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta districts from Thiruvananthapuram bus depot, reports Malayala Manorama.
1.18 pm: Train services between Kozhikode and Shornur will resume on Saturday if rain subsides and work on railway bridges in Kuttipuram and Pallipuram are completed, reports Malayala Manorama.
Passenger trains running between Kozhikode and Mangaluru have been scheduled for 5 pm and 9 pm.
1.10 pm: A 22-member team, including diving experts, from Kozhikode fire service have been deployed to Thrissur for relief work, reports Malayala Manorama.
Water level is increasing in Thrissur, Kodungallur areas as the sea level is high.
1.06 pm: Traffic halted on the highway connecting Thrissur, Chalakkudy and Ernakulam.
1.03 pm: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says four helicopters have been deployed in Chengannur – one of the worst affected towns – for rescue operations and to air drop food, water and supplies. “Attempts to rescue the stranded are on a war-footing,” he says, adding that four 100-member Army teams, five military boats and 65 fishing boats are also part of the operation in Chengannur.
Vijayan urges people to cooperate for smooth transport of relief material to Chengannur, Chalakkudy and Pathanamthitta.
12.57 pm: Landslide reported in Idukki’s Kuyilimala, blocking Kuyilimala-Paramada road, reports Mathrubhumi.
12.54 pm: More fishing boats will be deployed in Kuttanad region for rescue efforts, reports Malayala Manorama. Minister G Sudhakaran says those who refused to lend their boats for rescue efforts will be arrested. In Alappuzha town, water level has increased.
12.46 pm: Modi says the Central Government is ensuring that benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture and other social security teams reach those affected by the floods.
12.44 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says Centre is providing all possible assistance to Kerala. “This includes financial assistance, providing food grains and medicines. We have asked the NHAI, NTPC, PGCIL to render all possible assistance and cater to basic infrastructure needs in the wake of the floods.”
12.39 pm: The Odisha government has sent a 240-member fire services team for rescue operations in Kerala. The team along with 75 power boats was airlifted by the Indian Air Force, reports IANS. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also announces an aid of Rs 5 crore for Kerala from Chief Minister Relief Fund.
12.32 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announces Rs 10 crore aid for Kerala.
12.30 pm: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deploy more teams of the Army, Navy, NDRF and Air Force to Kerala. “Rescue is priority,” he says. “For many, today is the last chance to be saved alive. Relief assistance is coming but that’s for those already rescued.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi asks Modi to declare Kerala floods as a national disaster without any delay. “The lives, livelihood and future of millions of our people is at stake,” he says.
12.25 pm: Director General of the National Disaster Response Force, Sanjay Kumar, says more teams will be deployed in Kerala if required. Kumar says Fifty eight NDRF teams have been working in eight districts and have rescued 170 people and evacuated 7,000 people.
12.21 pm: Rain subsides in Kollam district, but flooding continues. Water levels reduce at Thenmala Parappar dam, reports Malayala Manorama.
Situation is still critical in Chengannur town in Alappuzha district. More teams of the Indian Navy will be deployed in Chengannur soon.
12.14 pm: Kerala’s health department requests doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals, and ambulance services to extend their help here.
12.04 pm: Achankovil river near Alappuzha’s Kollakadavu village is overflowing following heavy rains in the area.
12.02 pm: Flooding reduces in Ponnani in Malappuram district. Families living in relief camps have started moving back to their homes. The level in the Bharathapuzha river has reduced, reports Malayala Manorama.
11.54 am: Water discharge from Idukki reservoir has been brought down to 800 cumecs, reports Mathrubhumi. This will help in rescue operations downstream.
11.46 am: Heavy rain continues in Alappuzha district, relief work continues in flood-hit Kuttanad region, reports Malayala Manorama.
11.40 am: Around 1,43,738 people belonging to 41,692 families living in 432 relief camps across Ernakulam district, reports Malayala Manorama.
11.30 am: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says Kerala has suffered a loss of Rs 19,512 crore as per initial assessment.
11.27 am: An aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard lands in Thiruvananthapuram with 25 more boats for relief work, reports Mathurbhumi.
11.09 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a relief fund of Rs 500 crore to Kerala, reports News 18.
11.02 am: The prime minister has announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the families of victims and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured, from PM’s National Relief Funds.
11 am: Modi is conducting an aerial survey of flood-affected areas. This was suspended earlier because of bad weather.
10.50 am: The weather department’s red alert has been withdrawn in several districts, says The Hindu. It remains only in Ernakulam and Idukki districts.
10.45 am: According to Manorama, there has been heavy rain in the southern and central parts of Kerala. Ernakulam and Punnamada are among the flooded areas. Patients from the Ernakulam Taluk hospital have been moved to the Kalamassery Medical College.
10.38 am: Two special passenger trains will operate between Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam via Alappuzha. This will start from Thiruvananthapuram central at 9 am and 3 pm and stop at all stations en route.
10.34 am: The water level in the Idukki dam is nearly stable with 2401.50 feet at 8 am on Saturday, reports News 18. The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet.
10.29 am: Following Saji Cherian’s pleas, four more helicopters have been sent to Chengannur, and more boats are also on their way to smaller parts of the district, The Hindu reports.
10.25 am: Late on Friday, the legislator from Chengannur in Kerala’s Alappuzha district, Saji Cherian, broke down in an interview with Malayalam news channel Manorama. “Please ask [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi to give us helicopters, give us helicopters... please, please; 50,000 people will die otherwise,” Cherian said.
10.20 am: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is saddened by the loss of lives in Kerala and that the UN is “following the situation closely”, reports Mathrubhumi.
10.18 am: According to the Hindustan Times, the water level of the Periyar river continues to rise.
10.10 am: Reports claim that Modi is likely to go on his aerial recce soon.
9.50 am: The Navy has been deployed in Chengannur. Chief Minister Vijayan earlier said the situation in Chengannur and Chalakkudy is “critical”, says Mathrubhumi.
Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association has opened a Chengannur flood relief camp. The control room number is 07025660000.
9.40 am: Modi holds a meeting with the chief minister and other state officials.
9.26 am: According to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, 82,442 people were rescued on Friday by 8 pm. Over 3.14 lakh people from 70,085 families are in 2,094 camps across the state, he said.
9.21 am: The prime minister’s aerial survey has been suspended due to bad weather, reports News18.
8.25 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Kochi to conduct a survey of flood-affected regions. He arrived in state capital Thiruvananthapuram on Friday night.
8.23 am: The prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, has called on the people of his country to contribute towards flood relief in Kerala. “UAE and the Indian community will unite to offer relief to those affected,” he tweeted. “We have formed a committee to start immediately. We urge everyone to contribute generously towards this initiative.”
8.20 am: Hundreds of volunteers and fish workers are helping the armed forces, the National Disaster Response Force, and state government agencies rescue more than 82,000 people in the districts of Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur, reports The Hindu.
8.10 am: Over four lakh people are now in relief camps across the state, reports Hindustan Times.
8 am: On Friday, the chief minister had called the floods the worst in the state in a century. Several rescue teams have been dispatched to the state, but over 300 people have died so far. Several trains had to be cancelled because of the weather too, while the state’s largest airport in Kochi will remain closed till August 26. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation asked airlines to operate additional flights to Kerala and ordered that fares be capped at Rs 10,000.