28 dead, 64,000 shifted to relief camps in Karnataka; over 2.85 lakh displaced Maharashtra
Thiruvananthapuram/ Pune, Aug. 9 (IANS/PTI): With incessant rain in Kerala, the death toll has reached 28 and over 64,000 people have shifted into 738 relief camps across the rain-battered state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday.
So far, 20 deaths caused by the floods have been reported across the state. Eight deaths had been reported on Thursday.
The chief minster said a red alert had been issued for Saturday in the worst affected districts of Ernakulam, Palakkad, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur.
“The meteorological department has predicted more rains in the next 24 hours, especially in the hilly areas of the state. Also, North Kerala is going to be affected by winds. The prediction is that from tomorrow the intensity of the rains is going to come down, but on August 15th, it’s going to rain heavily,” Vijayan added.
On the presence of the forces which are engaged in relief and rescue operations, he said there are 13 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and three teams each of the engineering task force and the Army.
Meanwhile, Over 2.85 lakh people have been evacuated due to the devastating floods in Western Maharashtra’s five districts including the worst-hit Kolhapur and Sangli, with the death toll reaching 29 on Friday.
The region is being pummeled by rain over the last few days, and major rivers including the Krishna and Panchaganga are in spate.
Divisional commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaisekar said flood waters had begun to recede in Kolhapur and Sangli. “In Kolhapur, the water level has decreased by two feet and in Sangli it has decreased by 3 inches,” he said.
Two helicopters started dropping relief material in flood-hit regions on Friday, he said.
“Still, connectivity is a major concern. We are hopeful that by tomorrow evening there will be connectivity in the region. It depends on the rainfall,” he added.
A total of 28 villages in Sangli and 18 villages in Kolhapur are completely surrounded by water and the only mode of reaching them is by boats, he said.
A total of 1,34,119 and 1,11,365 people have been evacuated to temporary camps in Sangli and Kolhapur districts, respectively. In Satara district 9,521 people have been evacuated, 6,819 in Pune and 23,437 in Solapur.
The government has decided to distribute compensation to flood victims immediately, Mhaisekar said. “We have received INR 76 crore from the government. In cities, INR 15,000 will be given per family and in rural areas INR 10,000,” he said.
“The NH 4 (Mumbai-Bengaluru National Highway) is still shut for traffic and some 18,000 vehicles are stranded on the highway. Once it is opened, priority will be given to the trucks carrying essential things such as petrol, diesel, LPG and we have already brought such trucks forward,” he said.
Talking about the rescue boat capsize incident at Brahmnal in Sangli on Thursday, he said so far nine bodies had been recovered and nine people in the boat were still missing.
A dozen more rescue teams of the Navy were being deployed in Sangli district, said a defence spokesperson. The teams left for Sangli on Thursday night by road after air- lifting was aborted due to the weather.