The weather in Kerala has cleared up slightly following days on incessant rainfall. The India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rain in isolated places in 10 districts of the state on Sunday, and not issued any red alert. 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 and announced a Rs 500-crore relief package for the state.
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 the day’s development:
8.48 pm: Centre announces resumption of commercial flight services from Kochi naval base on August 20, ANI reports. Two special trains will leave from Trivandrum and Ernakulam for Kolkata and train services on all lines are expected to resume by Monday evening.
8.25 pm: Maharashtra government sends 30 tonnes of relief material, including food packets, dry grains, blankets, sanitary napkins, to Kerala.
8.15 pm: More than 38,000 people have been rescued and evacuated from the flood-affected areas in Kerala, the Centre says in a statement. “Medical aid has been provided to over 23,000 people. 3,00,000 food packets have been supplied by the Food Processing Ministry,” it adds.
The government also says that the petroleum and natural gas ministry has made available 9,300 kiloletres of kerosene to Kerala. “The Department of Consumer Affairs has made arrangements to airlift 100 metric tonnes of pulses by tomorrow with additional quantities to be sent by train,” the government says.
7.40 pm: Union Health Minister JP Nadda says the health secretary is constantly in touch with the state health functionaries and monitoring the situation daily through the disease surveillance network. Ninety types of medicines have been sent to Kerala, as per a request by the state government, Hindustan Times reports.
7.38 pm: The Centre announces to give Rs 2 lakh in compensation each to the family of those killed in the floods. Rs 50,000 will be given to those injured.
7.35 pm: The National Disaster Management Authority says more than 33,000 people have been rescued from the flood-affected areas. Over 6.33 lakh people are currently staying in relief camps, NDMA adds.
7.10 pm: Pope Francis calls for solidarity and help from the international community for people affected by floods in Kerala. During the weekly prayers on St Peter’s Squares, the pope says Catholic church was working to bring help to the people in Kerala.
6.30 pm: Over 8 lakh people displaced by floods are sheltering in 3,734 camps in the state, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “Our prime concern was to save lives...It appears it has been met,” Vijayan tells reporters on Sunday. “Rehabilitation will be done by various agencies.”
6.25 pm: Landslides occurred at Nelliyampathy hill in Palakkad on Sunday, ANI reports. Road clearing operations are under way. No casualties have been reported.
5.07 pm: Ernakulam district collector requests people to bring materials for relief camps to the Kadavanthra indoor stadium or Government Rest House at Pathadippalam, Manorama Online reports.
5.06 pm: The Indian Administrative Service Officers Association says its members are contributing one day salary towards the Kerala flood relief fund.
5.05 pm: India Meteorological Department official Mrutyunjay Mohapatra says that there will be no heavy rainfall in Kerala over the next five days, ANI reports.
4.58 pm: The government of Qatar has announced that it has allocated $5 million to the flood victims in Kerala. “We extend our sincere condolences to the victims’ families and to the Indian people, many who have contributed to Qatar’s development & wishing the injured a speedy recovery,” Qatar Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani tweeted.
4.18 pm: The Kerala State Electricity Board is making an action plan for restoring power to flood-ravaged areas, The Hindu reports. The board’s top priority is to resume power supply in relief camps, hospitals and the water treatment plants of the Kerala Water Authority.
4.02 pm: Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar says he will donate one month’s salary towards relief work in Kerala, PTI reports.
3.54 pm: Congress MLA Ramesh Chennithala says that the state government has to pay more attention to disaster relief camps. He says there are reports of shortages of doctors and essential items in the camps. He also calls for strengthening Army presence in the camps. Chennithala makes the remarks after visiting flood-hit areas in Chengannur.
3.47 pm: Relief camps in Kuttanad are facing a severe shortage of drinking water, Mathrubhumi English reports. The toilets are unfit for use, and shops are not adequately stocked. Hence, the authorities have decided to shift the people to Alappuzha, but are encountering opposition.
3.44 pm: IAS officers in Andhra Pradesh have pledged to donate one day’s worth of salary, PTI reports.
3.18 pm: National Disaster Response Force Director General Sanjay Kumar says that 58 teams have been deployed across eight districts in the state. “They’re carrying out rescue and evacuation work and extending medical emergency aids,” he says. “Now that rain has subsided to some extent, our teams are being partly relocated to worst-affected areas.”
3.10 pm: The situation in low-lying areas in Kottayam district remains serious, Manorama Online reports. The district administration have asked the people in areas like Kumarakom and Thiruvarppu to move to safer places. Over 3,000 people from Kumarakom and 5,000 from Thiruvarppu await rescuers.
2.55 pm: The flood situation in the southwest part of Thrissur remains grim, The Hindu reports. As many as 42 villages on the banks of Canolly canal and Herbert canal are inundated.
2.32 pm: A pastor has offered part of his land in Adoor in Pathanamthitta district for people to bury their dead, The Indian Express reports. “Anyone irrespective of religion, caste, creed, class or sex can be buried on my land,” says Kuruvila Kulanjikompil Samuel.
2.16 pm: A community kitchen has been set up at the Kochi naval base to cater to nearly 7,000 affected people. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has dropped relief material to people in flood-hit areas of the city, ANI reports.
1.58 pm: Kozhikode District Collector UV Jose will convene a meeting today to address the fuel shortage in the district, reports The Hindu. Some petrol stations in the district have closed over the past two days. Supply channels have been blocked owing to transportation problems.
1.49 pm: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy urges MPs and MLAs from the Union territory to contribute one month’s salary towards flood relief in Kerala, reports PTI.
The Puducherry government has already announced an assistance of Rs 1 crore towards flood relief funds.
1.46 pm: Train services from Thrissur railway station to resume by 4 pm, reports Malayala Manorama. Traffic to Palakkad will move via Shoranur as Pattambi bridge is still inundated.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation resumes services between Tiruvalla and Thiruvanathapuram, and Pathanamthitta-Adoor route.
1.37 pm: Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu says airlines have started additional flights to and from Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Coimbatore airports for convenience of passengers.
Prabhu says the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is in contact with three private helicopter operators for air dropping of relief material. These operators are currently coordinating with officials of the state government.
1.29 pm: Alappuzha district collector says 97% people evacuated from Kuttanad region, reports Mathrubhumi.
1.26 pm: Kerala State Road Transport Corporation resumes bus services from Thrissur to Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Kollam and Palakkad, reports Malayala Manorama.
1.20 pm: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says helplines have received several requests for people who have already been rescued. “Sending erroneous information can only delay rescue efforts,” he says.
1.15 pm: Ernakulam district collector orders all medical shops to remain open in view of the floods, reports Mathrubhumi.
1.12 pm: At least 200 rescue workers, including 130 personnel of Rapid Action Force and 30 revenue officials, will reach Nelliampathi, a hill station in Palakkad district, today after trekking through difficult terrains, reports The Hindu.
Rescue workers are carrying 200 kg food grains for those stranded on the hill station for the last five days following landslips. Helicopters will also be assisting in relief work.
1.07 pm: Indian Railways issues guidelines allowing government organisations and private bodies to transport relief material to Kerala free of freight charges, reports PTI. Non-governmental organisations availing this provision will be vetted by divisional railway managers.
These guidelines will be in effect till August 31 until further orders.
12.49 pm: Union Minister of State Alphons Kannanthanam says rescue operations are in full swing, but thousands still need to be rescued, reports News 18. “Getting them back to their homes is going to be a huge task. The worst isn’t over yet,”
12.36 pm: President Ram Nath Kovind speaks to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor P Sathasivam about the flood situation in the state.
12.31 pm: Kerala Police arrest four houseboat owners in Alappuzha who refused to spare their boats for rescue work, reports The Hindu. Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran ordered the arrests.
The minister has also directed the port officer to suspend licenses of boat drivers who refused to cooperate with the rescue operations.
12.26 pm: Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, will commence operations from Kochi naval base on Monday. Jet Airways announces that it will operate additional flights to Thiruvananthapuram from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Dubai and Dammam from Tuesday.
12.17 pm: Munnar, Cheruthoni, Adimali, Marayoor towns in Idukki district remains isolated, reports Malayala Manorama.
12.12 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announces aid of Rs 10 crore to Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.
11.45 am: North Paravur in Ernakulam will be the focus of rescue efforts on Sunday, say district officials. Sixteen units of Navy have been deployed in the area. Twenty-five medical teams distributing food packers in various flood-hit pockets.
11.33 am: District Collector of Alappuzha informs the state government that evacuation in Kuttanad region is almost complete, reports The Hindu. Around 2 lakh people have been rescued.
11.22 am: Passenger train services commence between Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam, reports Mathrubhumi.
11.17 am: Situation at Kundur and Puvathussery in Thrissur district, where water entered from Chalakkudy and Periyar rivers, remains severe, reports The Hindu. A team of 30 expert divers, a 15-member NDRF team and a Navy team have been deployed to these two regions for rescue efforts.
11.08 am: Water recedes in Ernakulam district’s Aluva town – one of the worst affected by the floods. Water level in the Periyar river has reduced by at least 5 feet, reports Mathrubhumi.
11 am: More helicopters and boats to arrive in Kerala for rescue work, reports Mathrubhumi. Rescue and relief efforts have been intensified in flood-hit Chengannur and Kuttanad in Alappuzha district.
10.44 am: Water level at Idukki reservoir is at 2402.28 feet, water flow into the Periyar is 913 cusecs per hour, reports ANI.
Two sluice gates of the Cheruthoni dam have been closed.
10.40 am: A Rapid Action Force team recovers 10 bodies from Nenmara area in Palakkad district. “Landslides are still occurring in the area, it was a tough task to recover the bodies,” District Commandant of RAF Coimbatore unit tells ANI.
10.37 am: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expresses solidarity with flood victims.
10.33 am: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation restores services to Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram, reports ANI. Services to Kasaragod have not been restored.
First service will start at 4 pm on Sunday from Bengaluru to Thiruvananthapuram.
10.30 am: IMD withdraws red alert in all districts across Kerala, issues orange alert for 10 districts and yellow alert for two districts, reports ANI.
10.21 am: A boat with six rescue workers goes missing in Pandand area in Chengannur, reports Hindustan Times.
10.13 am: Two medical relief passenger trains to run from Thiruvananthapuram to Alappuzha, reports Mathrubhumi. Train services between Shoranur and Kozhikode and Ernakulam and Kottayam resume.
9.52 am: Around 8 lakh people are in relief camps across the state.
9.50 am: Heavy downpour in areas such as Chenganur, Pathnamthitta, Aluva and Adoor, reports the Hindustan Times.
9.43 am: Part of Kollidam bridge in Trichy collapses. The incident took place around 1 am today. No casualties have been reported as the bridge is no longer in use.
9.41 am: The water level at Puthencavu, Chengannur, is said to have receded to a great extent.
9.40 am: There is no accurate estimate of the toll, number of relief camps and the number of people rescued in Chengannur, reports Mathrubhoomi.
9.37 am: Ecologist Madhav Gadgil claims the floods is also a man-made disaster with illegal constructions on river beds and unauthorised stone quarrying contributing to a large extent. Many other environmentalists also point out past irresponsible policy decisions which have led to this “man-made disaster”.
9.33 am: Those close to the banks of Cauvery and its tributaries Bhavani and Amaravathi have been forced to leave their homes or are living in fear of inundation as the rivers flow in all their fury. Most worried are the people living near the Mayanur check dam in Karur, the confluence of the Cauvery, Amaravathi and Bhavani. Here, the Cauvery is at its widest and the check dam measures 1,233 meters.
9.24 am: Football clubs like Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona express solidarity with Kerala. They urge supporters to extend all support to the flood-hit people.
9.22 am: After the United Arab Emirates, Qatar announces an assistance of $5 million (approximately Rs 33 crore) for flood-hit Kerala. “We extend our sincere condolences to the victims’ families and to the Indian people, many who have contributed to Qatar’s development and wishing the injured a speedy recovery,” Qatar Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani tweeted.
9.06 am: The railways have reopened the stretch between Ernakulam and Kottayam for train traffic, reported Manorama Online. Trains are already running from Ernakulam to Thiruvananthapuram on the Alappuzha route. The railways are running a bunch of special trains also.
8.19 am: Telangana government has dispatched 100 tonnes of food for children in Kerala, reports IANS.
8.16 am: Ecologist Madhav Gadgil says the floods are a man-made disaster. “Irresponsible environmental policy is to be blamed for the recent floods and landslides in Kerala,” he tells the Hindustan Times. “Extensive stone quarrying and mushrooming of high-rises as part of tourism, and illegal forest land acquisition by private parties are the major reasons for the recent floods in the state.”
7.50 am: The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, volunteers to fly planes to Kerala. “We are willing to fly the planes without payment on voluntary basis to the cause of these operations. We consider this a unique privilege that we can use to assist in such operations,” PTI reports.
7.47 am: Floodwaters recede in Chalakkudy but the municipality in Thrissur remains without electricity and mobile connectivity, reports Scroll’s TA Ameerudheen.
7.40 am: Three flights, one to Coimbatore and two to Bengaluru, will begin operations from the Kochi Naval Base airport from Monday.
7.30 am: The India Meteorological Department’s last bulletin issued an alert and forecast heavy rainfall at Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Idukki districts on Sunday. Kasargod, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram are expected to get only light to moderate rainfall. Isolated places in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall on Sunday.
Several 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. Mobile networks have broken down in some areas of the state such as Ernakulam, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Idukki and Kottayam, as floods disrupt electricity and fuel supply.
The Congress has urged the Centre to release more than Rs 500 crore and declare the floods a natural disaster.