Let up in rains in Ker; situation grim in Karna

07:17 PM Aug 11, 2019 | PTI |
Chennai/Thiruvananthapuram/Bengaluru: After incessant rains pounded the southern states over the last few days, taking a combined toll of 91, there was a let up in the downpour in Kerala, while the situation remained grim in Karnataka, where union home minister Amit Shah undertook an aerial survey of affected areas. The toll in the monsoon fury in Kerala mounted to 60 with over 2.27 lakh people being sheltered in relief camps across the state. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reviewed the flood situation at a meeting with senior officials on Sunday morning and later told reporters that the toll in rain-related incidents since August 8 has touched 60. About 2.27 lakh people have been shifted to 1,551 relief camps, he said. India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for rains for three districts -- Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayand. Vijayan also said the water level in major dams was not a cause of worry as of now. Idukki Dam,one of the biggest in the state, now had only 36.61 per cent of capacity, he added. In the worst-hit Puthumala in Wayanad, which was struck by a massive landslide on August 8, Vijayan said eight people were still missing and search operations were on for them. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived on a two-day visit to Kerala this afternoon and would visit his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad, which is among the badly affected. He is expected to visit relief camps at Kottakal in Nilambur, Mambad, Edavannappara and attend a review meeting at the Malappuram collectorate, Congress sources said. Gandhi will visit affected areas in Wayanad on Monday. Flight operations from the international airport at Kochi resumed on Sunday afternoon, two days after it was shut due to inundation of the runway area following heavy rains. The Abu Dhabi-Kochi Indigo flight touched down at around 12.15 pm, marking resumption of the operations. The Southern Railway on Sunday fully cancelled 10 trains, partially cancelled seven services and diverted two trains Various agencies, including the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, NDRF, police force, volunteers and fishermen are involved in the rescue operations at various places. This is the second consecutive year that the floods and landslides have ravaged Kerala, which is yet to recover from the devastating deluge that claimed over 400 lives last year and had rendered lakhs homeless. PTI RRT TGB UD In Karnataka, the toll rose to 31 with four more people dying in rain related incidents. A total of 3.14 lakh people have been evacuated, of whom 2.18 lakh are staying in 924 relief camps, official sources said. Union Home Minister Amit Shah undertook an aerial survey of flood affected areas in some affected areas on board an army helicopter. He was accompanied by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, union ministers Pralhad Joshi and Suresh Angadi, Rajya Sabha member Prabhakar Kore and Hukkeri BJP MLA Umesh Katti. The government has assessed that 21,431 houses and crops in 4.16 lakh hectares had been damaged in the floods following heavy rains. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday conducted an aerial survey of the worst-affected Belagavi and Bagalkote districts. In the wake of series of landslides, the national highway connecting Bengaluru and Mangaluru will remain closed at least till Monday, official sources said. They also said there was slight reduction in the water level in the Netravati river in Dakshina Kannada district. The water level near Bantwal has reduced from 11 metres above the danger level to 9.1 metres above the danger level. The overflowing river waters inundated several areas in Bantwal with the affected people, including the family of former union minister Janardhana Pujari, being rescued. The world heritage site Hampi along the banks of Tungabhadra River in Ballari district has been inundated with authorities releasing over 1.70 lakh cusecs from a reservoir on Sunday morning. The district administration has asked residents living along the banks to move to safer places as all 33 gates of the Tungabhadra Dam were opened following heavy inflow of over two lakh cusecs in the wake of incessant rains in catchment areas in the Western Ghats over the last one week. In the tourist town of Udhagamandalam, in Tamil Nadu, animal husbandry minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan said the Tamil Nadu government would seek flood relief fund from the Centre after total assessment of the loss due to the rains in Nilgiris district, the worst hit in the rains. There was a huge crop and cattle head loss in the rains, which battered various areas, particularly Gudalur and Pandalur taluks, he told reporters.

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