The death toll in the Kerala floods has risen to 104 while 36 others remained missing even as the flood-ravaged state limps back to normalcy with water receding in many low-lying areas, news agency PTI reported.
There was no ‘red alert’ warning in any of the 14 districts as the intensity of rains decreased. An orange alert, indicating isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, was sounded in northern districts of Kannur and Kasaragod on Thursday while yellow alert, predicting heavy rainfall, was issued in Idukki, Kannur and Kasaragod for Friday, IMD authorities said.
A total of 104 people lost their lives across the state in floods and landslides, triggered by the second spell of monsoon, since August 8, a government update said. Though people have started shifting to their homes in many places, there are 1,75,373 still sheltered in 1,057 relief camps.
According to the government update, a total of 11,901 houses have been partially damaged and 1115 fully damaged.
Meanwhile, help kept pouring from neighbouring states to aid Kerala in relief and rehabilitation operations. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter to thank MK Stalin and Tamil Nadu for their support to the state during the heavy floods. The state government had on Wednesday announced a package of flood compensation with an immediate financial aid of up to Rs 10,000 each to all calamity-hit families.
The southern state has been battered by torrential rains for the second consecutive year leading to heavy floods. Experts are attributing the recurrent flood situation to climate change. “The intensity of rainfall has been high. It is more common nowadays, and we can attribute it to climate change. In the coming years as well, we can expect high-intensity rainfall,” an IMD official said.
The state had initially witnessed a major rain deficiency and was on the cusp of drought when heavy rains returned to create havoc. A weak El Nino along with an inadequate strengthening of southwesterly winds was seen as the reasons for the deficient rainfall. But within a week, on August 10, the rainfall deficiency had dropped to just 8%, as the state was pounded by heavy rain over a few days.