Flooding seems to have become a calendar event in India. With incessant rains and another season of devastating floods, the death toll has reached a 200 in 4 states of the country- Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
As per reports, The toll in the floods in Kerala rose to 83 and that in Karnataka and Maharashtra rose to 42 and 43 respectively on Monday. While close to 31 people died in Gujarat in rain-related mishaps. A total of 3,000 Army personnel took part in relief operations in 15 districts of four states.
Other states which are battered by rain are Assam, parts of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department has warned heavy rain across Telangana and isolated locations in the country aided by a low-pressure area formed over the northwestern Bay of Bengal.
Though the rains had come down yesterday, it intensified on Tuesday morning jeopardising relief activities and rescue operations.
As per the official data, nearly 83 people died in the state and 58 have been reported missing. The toll includes those who are trapped under debris in Kavalappara and the eight missings after a landslide in Puthumala in Wayanad district.
Malappuram was the worst hit in the deluge with 27 casualties followed by Kozhikkode and Wayanad wherein 17 and 13 deaths were reported respectively. Over 2.87 lakh people have been evacuated to 1,654 relief camps across the state.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan held a high-level review meeting with district collectors. “In the meeting, the chief minister instructed collectors to ensure that enough facilities are provided for those in the relief camps,” the chief minister’s office tweeted.
He also visited the flood-hit districts on Tuesday.
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) August 13, 2019
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday began his two-day visit to Wayanad, his constituency in Kerala, to review the flood situation.
“I visited the epicentre of Puthumala landslide at Meppadi in Wayanad,” PTI quoted him saying. “This is the site of a terrible landslide that destroyed an entire village, many people are still feared to be trapped and rescue work is ongoing.” He also visited those in relief camps at Meppadi in Wayanad and Kaithapol in Kozhikode district.
With the rains letting up, there had been a slight relief in Karnataka, where the death toll went up to 42. Reports coming from the state suggests that 12 people are missing, and 3.2 lakhs are in relief camps. Karnataka government has opened as many as 1168 relief camps in the havoc that affected 2028 villages and destructed 28,325 houses. The state also had a major agrarian loss, with 4.25 lakh hectares of crop washed away in the rains.
Meanwhile, the newly sworn-in Chief Minister announced Rs.10,000 as immediate interim relief for the flood victims and also announced a compensation worth Rs. 5 Lakh.
“Five bridges and 300 houses damaged or completely destroyed in the floods in the district. These families will receive a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each. As an emergency relief, Rs 10,000 will be distributed to the victims,” he said.
“Our preliminary estimate of losses is Rs 10,000 crore, but I personally believe that the losses will stand between Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore. We have urged the central government to release Rs 3,000 crore immediately as assistance,” he added.
Did an aerial survey of the flood affected areas of Belagavi (Karnataka) and Kolhapur & Sangli (Maharashtra).
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. pic.twitter.com/2IgDdD1zk1
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 11, 2019
Home Minister Amit Shah also visited the flood-affected state sparking a new controversy. The minister deliberately skipped the aerial survey of Kerala, one of the worst-hit among the four states, accused CPM. The centre’s negligence towards floods had ignited controversy last year as well.
In a statement, the party expressed concern at the loss of life and destruction of property and livestock in floods in various parts of the country.
“The home minister in his aerial survey of flood-hit areas chose to go only to BJP-ruled states of Maharashtra & Karnataka. It appears that he deliberately skipped the survey of the badly affected Kerala,” CPM accused.
“Some elements associated with the RSS-BJP are campaigning on social media, asking people not to donate to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Political partisanship is least expected in times of natural calamities and unfortunate deaths of people,” they said.
Union Minister Pralhad Joshi also inspected the flood-hit districts of the state on Monday.
Around 43 people have been reported dead and nearly 4.48 lakh people have been evacuated from the flood-hit Maharashtra. The worst-hit are the areas of Kolhapur and Sangli.
The movement of vehicles has been restored temporarily o NH-4, which was closed for the past 8 days due to floodwaters.
“I have spoken to the SBI chairman and told him to provide us with ample cash. We will require a lot of money in these flood-affected districts,” Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta said.
The Opposition parties have been accusing the state government of inefficient handling of the flood situation.
31 people were reported dead within the last 5 days in Gujarat. Efforts are still on to find missing boats and fishermen.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has rescued nearly 125 people stranded on a road washed away by floods due to heavy rainfall in Kutch district of Gujarat.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast heavy rainfall at isolated places in districts of South Gujarat in next two days and heavy to very heavy rainfall in districts of North Gujarat on Wednesday.