The toll in floods in four states of India rose to 243 on Wednesday. Kerala has recorded 102 deaths over the past eight days, while the toll in Karnataka rose to 61. As many as 49 people have died in Maharashtra and 31 in Gujarat.
The toll in Kerala rose to 102 after more bodies were found during rescue operations. Fifty-nine people are still missing and 35 were injured in rain-related incidents since August 8, ANI reported citing data from the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.
According to official figures on Wednesday evening, Malappuram was the worst-affected district with 42 deaths. Around 1.89 lakh people were evacuated to 1,123 relief camps across the state.
The India Meteorological Department on Wednesday sounded a red alert in three Kerala districts – Kozhikode, Kannur and Malappuram – and an orange alert in Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod.
The central government has sanctioned Rs 52 crore as immediate financial aid, The News Minute reported. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan also made the announcement that medicines worth Rs 4 crore would be sent to the state.
“This disaster that has befallen us as we are completing a year since the historic floods, will affect us severely,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday in a Facebook post. “Our united intervention will be required to overcome this.” The state government also declared that it would provide three months of free ration for those affected due to floods.
Vijayan also reached out to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu by tweeting in Tamil and said that false news was being spread that Kerala did not need assistance for floods. “The Kerala government is doing its best to help the families affected from the rain and [relatives] of those killed,” he said. “Under these circumstances, some persons are spreading false propaganda that Kerala needs no help. This is distressing. People of Kerala indeed need your help, and it doesn’t matter if it is small or big. Please contribute what you can.”
The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday sounded a flood alert after water level in the Krishna river started rising due to inflow from Karnataka and Maharashtra after heavy downpour. Three districts – Krishna, Guntur and Kurnool – were put on high alert as villages along the Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers were under threat of getting flooded, The Times of India reported.
Four people, including three minors, were reportedly swept away in the Penna river in Kadapa district’s Kamalapuram on Tuesday with only one body rescued so far. The government has also alerted district collectors to remain on guard for eventualities. Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy has asked top irrigation department officials to make use of flood water in the state, which had seen severe water shortage over the summer.
The toll in Karnataka rose to 61 on Wednesday after seven bodies were recovered in Hassan district. Fifteen people are still reportedly missing, PTI reported. But the overall situation has improved in the state after incessant rain and subsequent floods forced evacuation of 6.98 lakh people in the past week. Inflow in the state’s reservoirs had steadily decreased, a state government update said on Tuesday.
“... flood situation is normalising. The water has started receding in many flood-affected districts and flood situation has improved,” the release said. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has also reviewed the flood situation in his home district Shivamogga on Tuesday.
Several districts in the north, coastal and Malnad regions of Karnataka were still reeling under the aftermath of floods. Flood waters that had entered the heritage site of Hampi receded on Monday as officials reported no damage to the monuments.
Over 2,000 villages in 103 talukas of 22 districts were affected by the floods. “If we total all districts, the loss will be around Rs 40,000 to 50,000 crore,” Yediyurappa was quoted as saying. “We have requested the Centre to release Rs 3,000 crore immediately.”
Heavy rain was expected in the state on Wednesday as the weather department predicted strong winds along with thunder and lightning in the Gujarat-Maharashtra-Goa-Karnataka-Kerala coast, The Indian Express reported.
The toll in Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara, Pune and Solapur districts in the last eight days rose to 49, with 24 of those deaths occurring in Sangli, said Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said on Tuesday.
Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Relief Fund received Rs 20 crore in just two days, officials claimed. On Tuesday, the state government quoted Rs 6,813.93 crore as preliminary assessment of losses due to floods.
Flood waters have damaged 1.39 lakh houses as compensation was announced of Rs 16,602 for completely destroyed pucca homes and and Rs 5,200 for partially destroyed homes. The state government also said that it would conduct a survey for any outbreak in the flood-hit areas.
“The aid surveys are also being conducted on the basis of diseases like fever, diarrhoea and jaundice,” the state’s public health department said in a statement. Out of 570 medical teams that are operational in the state, 196 were in Kolhapur and 144 in Sangli – the two worst-affected districts in the state.
The Met department predicted that the state’s Dahod and Mahisagar areas would receive heavy rain on Wednesday and regions such as Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Mahisagar and Dahod would continue to face heavy downpour on Thursday, The Times of India reported.
So far, 31 people have died in rain-related incidents in the last few days. The Indian Air Force had rescued nearly 125 people stranded on a road washed away by floods in Kutch on Monday, unidentified government officials said.