Kerala floods HIGHLIGHTS: Rescue work enters last leg, death toll climbs to 231https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-flood-rains-relief-rescue-live-updates-chalakkudy-chengannur-pinarayi-vijayan-5314949/

Kerala floods HIGHLIGHTS: Rescue work enters last leg, death toll climbs to 231

Kerala rains and floods HIGHLIGHTS: The Indian Railway has restored all the tracks affected with heavy flash floods, landslips, boulder falling on track etc in divisions of Southern Railway, a PIB press release stated.

Kerala floods LIVE updates: Rescue work enters last leg, death toll climbs to 231
An elderly woman gets rescued by Indian Army in Paravur, Cochin on Monday. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran, 20th August 2018, Cochin.)

The Indian Railway has restored all the tracks affected with heavy flash floods, landslips, boulder falling on track etc in divisions of Southern Railway, a PIB press release stated. In another development, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced Tuesday the UAE has offered Rs 700 crore towards Kerala flood relief.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet has suggested Governor P Sathasivam hold a special assembly session on August 30 to discuss post-flood discussion over relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Kerala. Earlier today, the state government scheduled for an all-party meeting at 4 pm Tuesday.

Opening doors in support for Kerala, the Centre has declared the floods in the state as a calamity of “severe nature”, paving the way for national assistance in various forms, officials said. The central government has also scaled up the relief and rescue operations. More than 43,000 persons have been rescued so far, out of which around 600 people were rescued on Monday. And 12.47 lakh people are lodged in relief camps.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday declared that the first phase of the rescue mission had reached its finality and the next phase would focus on intensifying relief and rehabilitation.

A step-by-step guide on how you can donate to the Kerala CM’s relief fund

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Kerala floods and rains: After 13 days of rain and flooding, Centre declares the calamity as 'severe'. Follow LIVE updates. Read in MALAYALAM

Over 200 people have reportedly been killed in the floods and thousands have been displaced in Kerala. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has pegged the loses incurred by the state at Rs 19,512 crore so far. A special assembly session will be held on August 30 to discuss relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction, Vijayan said. India will have to turn down UAE's offer for the flood relief contribution of Rs 700 crore due to a policy made in 2014.

Read more on our coverage here

Vistara to fly doctors free of cost to Thiruvananthapuram

CPM requests PM Modi for immediate release of Rs 2,000 crore to flood-hit Kerala

Kerala: CPM workers collect over 16 crore in last two days for flood relief fund

CPM workers have collected Rs 16, 43,73,940 through a public donation drive from 10 districts over last two days. Kannur topped with nearly Rs 6.39 crores followed by Trivandrum with 2.25 crores. The money will be pooled into the CMDRF.

Death toll rises to 231; Govt seeks Rs 2,600 cr package

Kerala sought a Rs 2,600 crore special package from the Centre even as the state struggled to find its feet after the devastating deluge that left 231 dead in a fortnight and displaced over 14 lakh people. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan chaired a meeting of the state cabinet, which decided to seek the special package under the centrally-sponsored schemes, including the flagship rural employment programme MNREGS.

As the cabinet took stock of the havoc caused by the unprecedented floods in a century, the Centre released Rs 600 crore to Kerala and decided to waive customs duty and GST on the relief materials being imported for the affected people. The central assistance of Rs 500 crore as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rs 100 crore by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had been released today, an official spokesperson said in New Delhi. (PTI)

663 people rescued by IAF so far

The India Air Force has so far rescued 663 people in flood-battered Kerala and airlifted 974 tonnes of relief material, it said in a statement. Transport aircraft from all corners of the country have been flying day and night to ensure relief material is available in relief camps, it said.

"Women, children, elderly people and residents were winched from the rooftops of submerged houses to safety by IAF helicopters. Till date, IAF has rescued 663 people. IAF helicopters have also dropped food and water packets to the stranded people in the affected areas," the statement read.

It has airlifted 974 tonnes of relief material. Medical teams from the Southern Air Command and the Training Command have been deployed at various places to provide medical assistance, it said. (PTI)

Former Tripura CM Manik Sarkar leading donation drive for flood relief

Steps taken to ensure speedy relief materials delivery to Kerala: Govt

To ensure hassle-free delivery of relief materials to flood-ravaged Kerala, Cochin Port, one of the top 12 major ports in the country, has earmarked two berths for priority berthing of vessels carrying such items, the government said.  Naval Ship INS Deepak from Mumbai has brought in about 800 tonnes of fresh water and 18 tonnes of provisions to Cochin.

"In the calamity-hit state of Kerala, the Ministry of Shipping has taken the initiative to reach relief material from various parts of the country to Cochin Port through coastal shipping," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.

The Cochin Port Trust has earmarked two berths at Mattancherry and Ernakulam wharfs for priority berthing of vessels bringing flood relief materials to Kerala, it said adding, two warehouses have been especially earmarked for storage of relief materials and medicines. (PTI)

Inside a Navy-run community kitchen

Operation Madad continues

CM Vijayan expresses gratitude to UAE for Rs 700 crore aid

Over 24,000 people rescued in Kerala: NDRF

Over 24,000 people have been evacuated till now from the flood affected regions of Kerala till now even as 41 NDRF teams are still undertaking relief and rescue operations in the state, a force spokesperson said.  Flood waters were receding in most of the affected areas and there are no alerts for heavy rainfall for the next few days.

"The force has rescued 535 people and evacuated 24,616 marooned people to safer places. 119 animals were also evacuated and pre-hospital treatment was provided to 4,908 people till now," he said.

At least 41 teams of the federal disaster contingency force are still deployed in Kerala to assist the state administration in rescue, relief and rehabilitation work and to respond in case of any eventuality, the spokesperson said. A National Disaster Response Force team has about 35-40 personnel. (PTI)

Centre releases Rs 600 crore assistance to flood-affected Kerala

Central assistance of Rs.500 crore, as announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Rs.100 crore, announced by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, for flood-affected Kerala has been released to the Kerala government on Tuesday.

The National Crisis Management Committee met for the sixth time in a row today to review the rescue and relief operations in the state. Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, chaired the meeting. The Chief Secretary of Kerala participated in the meeting via video conference and informed that the situation is now improving by and large though there are some isolated pockets still with water. Water levels are receding fast.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has made additional allocation of 89,540 MT of rice as per the state government’s request.

CM P Vijayan thanks UAE for providing assistance of Rs 700 crore to Kerala

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has thanked UAE for providing an assistance of Rs 700 crore towards relief and aid operations in flood-affected Kerala.  He expressed his gratitude to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and the Emir of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE and Emir of Dubai.

Piyush Goyal appeals to Railway employees to donate a day's salary for Kerala flood victims

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today appealed to the Indian Railway's 13 lakh employees across 16 zones to voluntarily donate a day's salary for the flood relief operations in Kerala. Goyal said he was confident of a positive response from the employees as their contribution will help bring relief to the thousands rendered homeless in the state.

"Employees of southern railways have already contributed Rs 65 lakh to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund without us even asking them to do so. We will send out the notice today," the minister told reporters.

Changes in train services

All affected tracks restored, normal Rail traffic is being restored from today: Indian Railways

The Indian Railway has restored all the tracks affected with heavy flash floods, land slips, boulder falling on track etc in divisions of Southern Railway, a PIB press release stated. The affected divisions were of Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Madurai.  

Almost all the train services, except for few for want of pairing rakes, are restored from today, the statement said.

Kerala’s great flood of 1924 too affected same areas

The Malayalam year 1099 (ME), or what was 1924 in the Gregorian calendar, is often considered to be a landmark moment in Kerala’s history. That year the much endeared season of rains in the state transformed into a disaster of monstrous dimensions. The current state of deluge in Kerala is reminiscent of that monsoon, almost a century back, when ‘God’s own country’ transformed into a calamity zone.  Read more

CPI says Centre's assistance towards Kerala floods not enough

The CPI today said and the Centre's assistance of Rs 500 crore to flood-battered Kerala was "too little", and Prime Minister Narendra Modi could have been "more generous" towards the state.

CPI General Secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said, "We are not satisfied. We think it's too little considering the scale of destruction in Kerala. Initial estimates put the loss at Rs 20,000 crore." 

Union Health Minister JP Nadda holds meeting over Kerala floods

Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare JP Nadda and MoS Health Ashwini Choubey hold a meeting over relief and rescue operations in Kerala.

CIAL suffers over Rs 220 crore in floods

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has suffered an estimated loss of over Rs 220 crores in the floods, PTI quoted abn official saying Tuesday. He said the CIAL management has launched rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure including 2.5 km long airport walls that collapsed after Periyar river overflowed. Read more

Vladimir Putin expresses condolence with Kerala flood vicitims

Russian President Vladimir Putin has written to the Indian President and Prime Minister and expressed his condolences over the loss of life in Kerala floods. 

Dalai Lama Rs 11 lakh for Kerala flood victims

The Dalai Lama has donated Rs 11 lakh towards the relief and rescue operations in Kerala. In a letter written to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, the Dalai Lama expressed solidarity with the people of Kerala in  this testing hour.

User Fee Waived on Three Toll Plazas in Kerala

National Highways Authority of India – NHAI has waived off user fee at three toll plazas in Kerala in view of the unprecedented flood situation in the state. The waiver has been made on the toll plazas at Paliekkara in Thrissur district, Pampampallam in Palakkad district and Kumbalam in Cochin. It came into effect last week and will continue till the end of this week, that is the 26th of August.

Many highways in the state are flooded, including the stretches of NH-544 close to Aluva due to the unprecedented rains/opening of dams in several districts in the state.

Underwater diver saves 70 people all by himself

More Doppler Weather Radars to be installed in Kerala to predict severe weather events: Union Ministry of Earth Sciences

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences is also planning to set up another C-Band Doppler Weather Radar at Mangalore by end of 2019, which will cover the northern parts of Kerala. At present, there are two Doppler Weather Radars in the state, at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. With these 3 radars, the entire state will be covered for monitoring of rainfall and severe weather events, and adequately warn the people well in advance. IMD has developed many new models and tools right from nowcasts (2-3 hours) to extended range forecasts (15-20 days’ lead time).

The Department is also planning to organize an awareness and training workshop for the state disaster management authorities of all states and other stakeholders by next month, to brief and train them on the new tools and how to make use of them for effective decision making.

Cyclone Warning Centre to be set up in Thiruvananthapuram within a month

With several incidents of tropical cyclones and severe weather events striking over Kerala and Karnataka coasts in the recent times, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences is proposing to set up a Cyclone Warning Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The Ministry is planning to set up the Centre in another one month. At present, IMD has cyclone warning centres only at Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

The Centre will cater to the needs of Kerala and Karnataka states and will be equipped with all state of the art infrastructure including forecasting tools to issue weather warnings and coastal bulletins (for fishermen,etc.).It will further strengthen the present forecasting activity in India Meteorological Department’s existing office in Kerala.

Detailed proposal on recontruction work to be submitted soon: Kerala government

In a cabinet meeting today, the Kerala government announced that they will soon be submitting a detailed proposal on reconstruction and rebuilding work that has to be carried out in Kerala.

The Kerala government has also written to the Centre asking that they be allowed to increase the cap on how much money the state can raise from markets from 3 per cent of GSP to 4.5 per cent of GSP inorder to raise an additional 10,500 cr.

Commerical and co-op banks have been asked to waive off loans in affected areas.

There have been complaints that some representatives of private financial firms have visited relief camps to get money on outstanding loans. This, the government said, should stop and financial firms should be more cooperative towards those affected by the floods.

The CM Relief Fund receives around Rs 49.6 crore

CM Pinarayi Vijayan has released a list of cheques, running to eight pages, received in the relief fund account till August 20, 2018. The list gives detail of the name of individual or organisation against the amount contributed, which roughly totals to Rs 49.6 crore.Yesterday, CM Vijayan rubbished and clarified rumours about the misuse of donation amount sent to the CM relief fund. 

(Source: Facebook/CM Pinarayi Vijayan) 

Humane Society International/India deploys rescue crew for animals

The Humane Society International/India (HSI/India) has deployed rescue crew in flood-hit Kerala and Coorg to save animals. They have set up emergency helpline where people could ask for help. "People are desperately worried about their pets and our Kerala helpline is ringing day and night with pleas for animal rescue," said Rahul Sehgal, HSI India's senior director of Companion Animals & Engagement, reported PTI.

Bajaj Auto contributes Rs 2 crore to CM relief fund

Automobile industries have joined the list of contributers for the relief fund and among the latest is Bajaj Auto which has announced to donate Rs 2 crore in aid of the flood-hit state.

The amount has been divided into cash to be desposited to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund and the balance Rs 1 crore will be deployed by Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha (JBGVS), for distribution of survival kits, said the company, PTI reported.

"Through this amount, Bajaj Auto aims to support at least 1,000 families with a basic startup kit for those who have been affected by the floods," the statement said.

Among other companies, Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) and TVS Motor Company have also announced contribution of Rs 1 crore each to the state Chief Minister relief fund.

DCW Chairperson donates her one month's salary along with DCW employees

The Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal donated her one month's salary for the cause and the employees of DCW parted with a day of their salary to contribute to the relief fund.

Employees of Central Railway willing to contribute part of their salary

A day after when the Centre declared the floods as a "severe" calamity, employees of the Central Railway decided to make a contribution from their salaries, reported PTI.

The officers and staff of the central railway zone have expressed their willingness to contribute part of their salary for the month of August as per the pay grade.

List of emergency contact for snake or animal rescue circulates on social media

A rescue operation has been set in place for animals and reptiles as well and a list of contacts of officials for rescuing snakes and animals has been doing rounds on social media. 

Individuals come up with unique ideas to contribute to Kerala relief fund

While states across the country and foreign dignitaries are making the contribution towards the Kerala relief fund, few individuals have come up with unique ways to raise money for the victims.

Some artists are selling their pictures and donating the proceeds to the relief fund. While writers are using their skill on receiving knowledge of the donation.

Read| These artists have come up with innovative ways to boost donations for Kerala flood relief

Special train carrying labourers arrive in Kolkata today

A special train carrying hundreds of people, mostly labourers from West Bengal, stranded in the flood-hit state has reached Kolkata today, a South Eastern Railway spokesman informed, reported PTI.

In addition, two more trains, which left from Ernakulam on Sunday evening are scheduled to reach Kolkata today.

Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons appeals public to help people in Kerala to regain normalcy

As the water in the state is gradually receding, people are returning to the leftovers and therefore Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons today pointed out the need for ready-to-eat cooked food and medical assistance. Alphos also appealed the skilled worker including plumbers, electricians and carpenters to help people regain normalcy.

Ten trucks with relief material arrive for flood victims in Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alappuzha

The 105 battalion of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and G 36 group of Rotary clubs have dispatched relief material in 10 trucks for flood victims in Kerala's Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alappuzha

Special assembly session on August 30 recommended to take place: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

A special assembly session on August 30 has been recommended by the Kerala Cabinet to the Governor, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan. Discussions over relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Kerala after floods are likely to be discussed by the assembly.

UAE offers Rs 700 crore to relief fund: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Joining the international countries, the UAE has offered Rs 700 crore for Kerala flood relief, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Read| UAE to donate Rs 700 crore for relief work, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala floods: Meanwhile, 22,000 people were rescued by state rescuers and fishermen Sunday and thirteen new deaths were reported due to the floods. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Kerala floods: State governments including Assam, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh and more have lent out financial help to Kerala. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu announced Monday that he would donate his one month's salary towards the relief work and the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra also announced that Supreme Court would contribute to Kerala flood relief fund. Apart from the Legislature and the Judiciary, help has been provided from abroad as well. The Indian Diaspora in China in association with the Malayalee Association has raised over Rs. 14 lakh.

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