The flood situation remained grim in four Indian states on Saturday as the toll increased to over 100 and many people remained missing.
At least 46 people were missing in Kavalappara village in Kerala’s Malappuram district two days after a hill came crashing down on them because of incessant rain, The Indian Express reported. Many bodies have not been recovered after Thursday’s boat capsize incident near Brahmanal village in Palus tehsil of Maharashtra’s Sangli district, according to Hindustan Times. In Karnataka, at least three people are missing in Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga districts, reported The Hindu. In the past week, rains have also disrupted life in states such as Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Goa and Andhra Pradesh.
At least 16 people died in the monsoon fury in Karnataka on Saturday, taking the toll to 38, reported The Times of India. The situation remained grim in Malnad and the coastal districts as more rain was predicted by the weather department till Monday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah conducted an aerial survey of flood affected areas in Belagavi district on Sunday, accompanied by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. “Did an aerial survey of the flood affected areas of Belagavi (Karnataka) and Kolhapur & Sangli (Maharashtra),” Shah tweeted. “Also held a meeting with senior officials to review the relief operations. Central and both state governments are totally commited to helping our people in distress.”
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Saturday conducted an aerial survey of the Belagavi and Bagalkote districts.
As many as 3.14 lakh people have been evacuated and 2.18 lakh of them are staying in 924 relief camps, a government press release said. As many as 21,431 houses and 4.16 lakh hectares of crops have been damaged by the floods. The national highway connecting Bengaluru and Mangaluru will remain closed at least till Monday, PTI reported citing official sources.
The overall flood situation in seven districts in the state’s north worsened as more than six lakh cusecs of water was released from Almatti and Narayanpura dams on the Krishna, inundating villages in the vicinity. Continuous rains and heavy outflow from the Kabini, Hemavati and Krishnaraja Sagar reservoirs have flooded low-lying areas in downstream areas in South Karnataka, reported The Hindu.
The state government has estimated that it has suffered Rs 6,000 crore worth of losses because of damaged crops and inundated public and private properties. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has sought immediate relief of Rs 3,000 crore from the Centre, according to The Hindu. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took stock of the situation in the state on Saturday, reported The Times of India.
At least 30 people have been killed in the districts of Sangli and Kolhapur till Saturday, prompting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to announce Rs 5 lakh compensation for their kin, Hindustan Times reported.
“In 2005, Sangli experienced 207% rain in 31 days,” Fadnavis said after touring the flood-hit districts on Saturday. “In 2019, in nine days alone, 758% rainfall took place. In Kolhapur, 31 days of 2005 recorded 159% rainfall while in 2019, Kolhapur saw 180% rainfall in nine days. The rainfall was unprecedented all over. The combined effect of the Krishna, Koyna and Panchganga rivers caused the current flood situation.”
The chief minister said flood waters were expected to subside by Monday. The government has moved 3,78,000 people from the inundated districts to 307 relief camps. Fadnavis has announced Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 compensation for those affected, while Rs 1 lakh assistance will be offered in case of destruction of house due to floods. “Rs 25 crore has already been given to various tehsils,” Fadnavis added.
The toll rose to 67 in the state on Sunday and more than 2.27 lakh people were shifted to relief camps across the state even as the India Meteorological Department predicted more rain in the coming days, India Today reported. This is the second straight year that the state has faced devastating floods.
Kozhikode is one of the worst-hit districts. The government has opened 287 relief camps in the district while 32,276 people are staying in 197 relief camps in Wayanad.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday visited the state emergency operations centre to supervise the situation. He said 80 landslides had been reported from eight districts. He said aerial surveys would be restarted as soon the weather improves. Despite heavy rains, water level had increased in only three dams and continued to be low in Idukki and Pathanamthitta, Vijayan added.
He said all the government officials and departments were busy with relief works and would work during holidays as well. “Cellphone towers on wheels are being set up in areas where communication has snapped,” the chief minister added.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert in Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts for Sunday. These districts will receive more than 204 mm rainfall in 24 hours, according to the forecast. An orange alert has been issued in Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts.
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi visited his constituency of Wayanad on Sunday. “It is heart-breaking to see what all the people of Wayanad have lost,” he tweeted. “We will do everything in our power to help them get back on their feet.”
Gandhi said he Kavalapara, the site of the landslide in Bhoothanam area. “Several people are still trapped and rescue operations are underway but more help is required immediately,” he added.
Meanwhile, Congress National Spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of favouritism in granting aid to states, PTI reported. “The BJP is indulging in politics of favouritism, partisanship even while distributing funds to flood-affected states,” he alleged. “After having witnessed an estimated Rs 10,000 crore loss due to floods last year, the central government has merely released Rs 3,000 crore as relief package for last year’s loss to Kerala,” Shergill said.
At least 19 people have been killed in floods in the state since Friday, NDTV reported. Eight persons – construction labourers from Madhya Pradesh and their family members – were killed and four were injured when a wall collapsed in Morbi city on Saturday afternoon, said Superintendent of Police Karansinh Vaghela.
As of Saturday morning, Gujarat had received 77.8% of annual average rainfall, with South Gujarat receiving 98.31% rainfall, said the Met department.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said there was no longer drought anywhere in the state as every tehsil had received good rain and water stock in dams was 60%.
The weather department has warned of heavy rain on Sunday, especially in South Gujarat districts while other parts are expected to receive moderate to light rains, reported The Times of India.