Kerala rain kills 40 in a day, rescue ops stepped up

Highlights: 
Rise in water levels in the Kuttanad region could leave parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts vulnerable.
Parts of Pala town in Kottayam were inundated.
The state government which estimates a loss of Rs 8,316 crore in disaster-related damage is exploring more options to offset the damage.
Kerala saw at least 40 deaths on Thursday, taking the toll since August 8 beyond 80.

Massive rescue and relief efforts in the central districts and killer landslides marked another red-alert day of deaths and devastation in Kerala.

With thousands marooned or displaced in unrelenting floodwater and the damage spilling over to more areas on Thursday, the state government sought from the Centre deployment of more forces and facilities to aid relief operations. Operations at the Kochi international airport were suspended till August 26 after the runway, taxiway and apron were submerged.

The state saw at least 40 deaths on Thursday, taking the toll since August 8 beyond 80. In Thrissur district, at least 10 people were killed in landslides at different locations. Landslides in Palakkad, Malappuram and Idukki districts killed at least 15 people.

As rescue operations in Pathanamthitta district were stepped up, hundreds including women, children and senior citizens are still marooned in flooded homes and hostels in areas including Ranni, Aranmula and Kozhencherry. Many parts of the district were flooded after river Pampa breached its banks.

Hundreds were also stranded in Aluva town in Ernakulam district where many areas were submerged as river Periyar continued to spill over. Nearby areas including Kalady and Perumbavoor were also severely hit by the floods. In Aluva and Edappally, overflowing canals flooded basements of apartments. Distress calls continued to reach rescue teams, government officials and media houses. Patients in hospitals were being evacuated till late evening. With water discharge from the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki set to be increased, areas in Kochi are also bracing for floods. Floods hit Chalakudy in Thrissur district on Thursday.

The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority urged people living in low-lying areas along the Chalakudy river and its tributaries to move to higher locations. Rise in water levels in the Kuttanad region could leave parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts vulnerable. Parts of Pala town in Kottayam were inundated. People rescued from flooded areas were being brought to relief camps in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Kochi Metro suspended operations for at least four hours after water level rose in the Muttam yard area. Parts of the NH stretch passing through Aluva were flooded. Train and bus services were hit across the state.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 80 dams in the state — 58 maintained by the Kerala State Electricity Board and 22 by the Kerala Water Authority — were at their maximum storage level. He said a committee led by the Central Water Commission chairman would oversee release of water from Mullaperiyar dam in Idukki district.

Liquor tax to go up

The state government which estimates a loss of Rs 8,316 crore in disaster-related damage is exploring more options to offset the damage. Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac confirmed that there was a financial resource crunch. The government is set to increase excise duty on liquor by 0.5%, to 3.5%, for a period of 100 days. Isaac said an additional revenue of Rs 230 crore was expected from the move.

Liked the story?

  • 1

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 2

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

Kerala rain kills 40 in a day, rescue ops stepped up

0 comments

Write the first review for this !