Updated: August 13, 2018 2:00:08 pm
Even as Kerala grapples with the flood situation, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a fresh warning of heavy rain in the state in the next 24 to 48 hours. The torrential rainfall in the state has left 37 people dead in the last five days. According to the preliminary assessment by the state government, Kerala has suffered a loss of Rs 8,316 crore, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who did an aerial survey of the flood-affected parts on Sunday, announced a relief of Rs. 100 crore.
Fresh warning issued in Kerala
The IMD, in its fresh warning, issued a ‘Red alert’, asking people to be cautious as there was a possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall in most places in Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur, Ernakulam, Palakkad and Malappuram districts in the next 48 hours. Fishermen have also been advised to stay away from the Southwest and Central Arabian Sea as conditions are likely to be very rough.
However, the water level in Idukki and Idamalayar dams receded, bringing some relief to the people. The water level in Idukki dam, which shot up to 2,401 ft on Thursday, came down to 2,398.50 ft Sunday evening, mitigating the fear of flood in Ernakulam district. The dam, opened after a gap of 26 years, has been discharging water at the rate of 750 cubic meters per second since Friday.
Vijayan pegs damage at over Rs 8,000 crore
As per the preliminary assessment, the rains have caused an approximate loss of Rs 8,315 crore, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a memorandum submitted to the Centre. The memorandum sought urgent sanction of Rs 1,220 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) to meet the situation. “State Government would request the Union Govt. to declare the calamity as that of ‘rare severity’ and provide the required funds and assistance,” Vijayan said, adding that the impact of the monsoon havoc will be felt for a long time in the state.
Following unprecedented rainfall in Kerala, as many as 31,075 people were staying in 302 temporary relief camps. As many as 211 incidents of landslides were reported during the period. Ten columns of the Army, a unit of Madras Regiment along with personnel of the Navy, Air Force and NDRF are engaged in relief and rescue work in badly-hit districts, including Kozhikode, Idukki, Malappuram, Kannur and Wayanad, Defence sources said. Nearly 20,000 houses and at least 10,000 km of roads have also been damaged in the floods.
Unprecedented flood situation in Kerala, says Rajnath Singh
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who made an aerial survey of badly affected areas in Idukki and Ernakulam districts, said the rains and floods had caused “massive damage” to the farm sector and infrastructures like roads and power. “It is unprecedented because never before in the history of independent India has Kerala witnessed such massive floods. I have come to know that it was in 1924 that Kerala faced such a big calamity. I understand the suffering of the people of Kerala from the present crisis. Since assessment of the damage will take time, I hereby announce immediate relief as advance of Rs 100 crore,” he said on Sunday. “The Centre is extremely sensitive to the needs of Kerala at this critical juncture,” he said. Singh added the immediate assistance of Rs 100 crore was apart from the aid of Rs 160.50 crore announced earlier.
Neighbouring states provide aid to Kerala
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy extended financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to Kerala. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami also announced a contribution of Rs 5 crore to rain-ravaged Kerala as a mark of support to the neighbouring state. DMK working president MK Stalin also announced a relief package of Rs 1 crore to the state.
Passports damaged in floods to be replaced free of cost
In the wake of property loss and destruction in the rain-ravaged state of Kerala, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that the ministry will replace all damaged passports free of cost. “There are unprecedented floods in Kerala causing huge damage. We have decided that as the situation becomes normal, passports damaged on account of floods shall be replaced free of charge. Please contact the concerned Passport Kendras,” she wrote on Twitter.
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