Torrential rains wreak havoc, taking 100 lives in Kerala

Torrential rains wreak havoc, taking 100 lives in Kerala

Source: Indian Express, BBC, RNZ
Posted from Taipei, Taiwan, August 17, 2018
Rise in flood waters in Periyar River due to the rains and opening of all shutters of all major dams including Mullaperiyar, Cheruthoni, part of Idukki reservoir, and Idamalayar, have severely affected lives of people in downstream areas.
Major disruptions
Nearly 100 people have lost their lives since August 8 as Kerala reels under one of the worst floods in its history. On Thursday, August 16, torrential rain and floods claimed 30 lives, swamping homes, destroying roads, and disrupting air and rail traffic in many places, officials said. Overall, 97 people have died in rain-related incidents since the second spell of monsoon fury got unleashed on August 8.
Battling inclement weather conditions, the Indian navy began airlifting marooned people in Trichur, Aluva and Muvattupuzha. Dramatic videos showed people stranded atop flooded homes and hills being winched up by Navy choppers.

People being rescued from a flood-affected region in Kochi on Thursday, August 16, 2018. (PTI Photo)
More aid, forces sought
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called Prime Minister Narendra Modi again, seeking more aid considering the situation. He also sought additional Army personnel and helicopters. For the first time in history, the state has opened 35 of its 39 dams. Meanwhile, operations at the Cochin International Airport have been suspended till August 26 due to flooding in and around the airport. A red alert has been issued in all the 14 districts of the state.
Train services have been disrupted and road transport services are in disarray with stretches of roads coming under water. With Kerala grappling with unprecedented flood situation, the Education Department has rescheduled Onam vacation for schools in the state. The holiday will be from August 17 to August 29.
Rise in flood waters in Periyar River due to the rains and opening of all shutters of all major dams including Mullaperiyar, Cheruthoni, part of Idukki reservoir, and Idamalayar, have severely affected lives of people in downstream areas.
Schools in all 14 districts of Kerala have been closed and some districts have banned tourists citing safety concerns.
RNZ carried the following BBC Report
Flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains in the southern Indian state of Kerala has killed at least 73 people (since updated to 100), shut down an airport and displaced more than 85,000 people, officials have said.
The state government said that many of those who died were crushed under debris caused by landslides.
Cochin Airport shut
The Cochin International Airport, one of India’s busiest, has been shut until 18 August due to a flooded runway.
India’s meteorological department has issued a ‘Red Alert’ in the state.
Rescue operations are under way and the federal government has sent additional forces to assist local efforts.
“We are witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala. Almost all dams are now opened. Most of our water treatment plants are submerged, motors are damaged,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters.

About 100 civilians were rescued from the flooded area of Kakkodi, Kiralur and Oorkadavu near Kozhikode town.
(Image Source: Twitter/ADGPI)

Tamil Nadu blamed
He added that the failure of the state government of neighbouring Tamil Nadu to release water from a dam had made the situation worse.
Kerala has 41 rivers flowing into the Arabian sea.
India’s Prime Minister and Home Minister have both offered federal support to the State.
“Spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan again this morning. We discussed the flood situation in the state. I have asked asked the Defence Ministry to further step up the rescue and relief operations across the state. Praying for the safety and well-being of the people of Kerala.”
Home Minister Rajnath also tweeted, “I had a telephonic conversation with Mr Vijayan regarding the prevailing flood situation in the state. The Centre is rushing additional National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to Kerala. We are providing all possible assistance. I am in constant touch with Kerala CM.”
RNZ Report from BBC
By Special Arrangement with www.rnz.co.nz
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