Dozens dead, thousands moved as rain hammers states

Rescue works trying to extricate body from under a fallen tree. (Whatsapp)

New Delhi, August 9, 2019: Monsoon rains on August 9 continued to batter several parts of India, with Kerala faring the worst in the south.

The Pinarayi Vijayan government has issued a red alert and ordered all educational institutions to remain shut for the day. The Cochin International Airport suspended all operations until August 11 after its runway was submerged in water.

Other states that reported flooding were Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Odisha. According to the India Meteorological Department, more heavy rains are likely to occur in these states over the next two days.

Thirty families went missing after a landslide at Nilambur in Kerala’s Malappuram district on August 8. Chief Minister Vijayan told media persons that 28 people died in rain-related incidents over the last three days.

Rescue and relief operations are being taken up in the southern state by National Disaster Relief Force personnel, along with the army and local police. More than 22,000 have been evacuated to relief camps so far.

The Southern Railway suspended operations on two routes and cancelled over 20 trains due to floods in various parts of Kerala’s Palakkad division. Train traffic was affected in the Palakkad-Ernakulam, Palakkad-Shoranur and Shoranur-Kozhikode sections.

In neighboring Karnataka’s Kodagu district, four members of a family were killed in a landslide following incessant rains on Friday. More than 80,000 people have been evacuated from various flood-hit regions of the state so far.

Five people, including four women, were killed as Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district received 911 mm of rainfall in a single day. As many as 1,704 people hit by landslides across the state have been moved to shelters, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said.

A total of 2.85 lakh people have been evacuated due to floods in five districts of western Maharashtra, including the worst-hit Kolhapur and Sangli, even as the number of deaths touched 29. Major rivers in the region, including the Krishna and Panchganga, are in full spate.

A 40-year-old man drowned in a swollen stormwater drain in Madhya Pradesh’s Ashoknagar district as rain continued to lash the state on Friday. A motorcyclist had gone missing in similar circumstances yesterday.

Around 1,000 people have been evacuated from catchment areas of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Madhya Pradesh’s Barwani and Dhar districts, with the Narmada flowing above the danger mark. Around 700 were shifted out of Dhar district.

Heavy rainfall in south and west Odisha earlier this week claimed at least three lives, left two missing and hit over 1.3 lakh people in nine districts, a government official said. A fresh bout of rain is expected to hit the state after three days.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who represents Wayanad in Kerala, called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to ensure aid for the flood-hit. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda asked PM Modi to declare the Karnataka floods as a “national disaster”.


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