Rain and flood leave trail of destruction across several states, dozens dead

The Indian Army said it has rescued around 6000 people and more than 15000 have been evacuated from flood-affected areas in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu till late Friday.

 

New Delhi:

Several states, including Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka on Friday battered by incessant rains for the second consecutive day and have exprienced landslides and floods wreaking havoc, rising deaths.

  
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is also likely to hit Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan over the weekend, according to the India Meteorological Department, as Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka prepare for the worst.

 

The Karnataka government on Saturday pegged the damage inflicted by torrential downpour and subsequent floods in the state at Rs 6000 crore even as the toll from various rain-related incidents stood at 24. 

 

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said this was the "biggest calamity" in 45 years adding his government has sought Rs 3000 crore as relief from the Centre. 

 

"So far 24 people have died in various rain-related incidents," he said. 

 

The Indian Army said it has rescued around 6000 people and more than 15000 have been evacuated from flood-affected areas in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu till late Friday.


In Kerala, rains continued to wreak havoc for the second day, as the death toll from floods and landslides reached 28 on Friday. Corpses were recovered from hillsides and houses destroyed in landslides.

 

The closure of the Kochi airport till Sunday due to incessant rains across in Kerala has affected travel plans of many.

 

The Cochin International Airport Limited on Friday announced the sudden suspension of flight operations at 9 a.m., leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. The airport will resume operations at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

 

The decision to close the airport was taken after flood water reached the airport's taxiway.More than 100 domestic and international flights operate from the Kochi airport in a day.

 

The death toll in Karnataka reached 16 on Friday, with the northern district of Belagavi accounting for at least eight deaths. More than 876 villages in the state have been affected, and over 207,000 people were evacuated.
 

Around 1,000 people were evacuated in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar and Barwani districts with the river Narmada flowing above the danger mark. At least one death in rain-related incidents was reported.
 

Floods have ravaged five districts of Western Maharashtra, displacing some 2.85 lakh people. More than 2.5 lakh people of Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara have been shifted to safer areas.
 

Twenty-nine people have died, while crops on more than 1 lakh hectares, worth at least ₹200 crore, have been lost. The loss of infrastructure in terms of schools, electricity supply machinery and livestock is expected to run into hundreds of crores of rupees.
 

Flooding in Kerala forced people to leave their homes and wade out in shoulder-deep waters to reach higher ground. The government said 64,013 people have been evacuated to 738 camps, and the state is staring at possibly more than ₹1,000 crore in damages to public and private properties, spread across most of north and central Kerala.
 

Nearly all of Kerala’s major rivers—Bharathapuzha, Chaliyar, Meenachil, Periyar, Pamba—are in spate. Regional news channels showed visuals of low-lying areas in northern districts and Idukki are submerged or impacted by landslides.
 

In Wayanad district’s Meppadi, most of a 100-acre tea estate was washed away in a landslide, and in Malappuram district’s Nilambur, an entire hillside collapsed. Both incidents happened on Thursday night, but rescue efforts could begin only on Friday as they were cut off from the mainland.
 

The extent of the damage will be worrying for the state’s coffers, already reeling under a severe financial crisis from the ₹33,000 crore of damage caused by last year’s floods.


The worst, however, may be yet to come. Seven Kerala districts are on red alert for extremely heavy rainfall on Saturday, including the most affected ones—Wayanad and Idukki.

 

The government has sanctioned an immediate assistance of ₹22.5 crore for flood relief, and has requested more central help.


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