Over 82,000 people in Kerala have been displaced due to the floods that have ravaged the State over the last nine days. As of Friday night, 164 were killed between August 8 and 17, and more than 3,14,000 people have been shifted to 2094 relief camps.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, after attending the funeral of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to conduct an aerial survey of the State on Saturday.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said on Saturday that it has evacuated over 10,000 people from the flood-hit areas as part of its biggest relief and rescue operation till date. A total of 58 teams have been deputed, out of which 55 are already on the ground, said a spokesperson. The teams are operational in Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Idukki, Malapuram, Wayanad and Kozhikode. PTI
Thousands of houses from Kumarakom to Vaikom in the Kuttanad region were inundated. The rising waters in Vembanad lake flooded houses in Alappuzha town and Thaneermukkom panchayat. The two canals in Alappuzha were also overflowing.
Officials estimate that more than 2,00,000 people, including the aged and the infirm and women and children, would have to be evacuated from Kuttanad. With the relief camps in Alappuzha filled to capacity, the authorities opened shelters at Cherthala to accommodate the rising tide of people fleeing the flooded areas.
A rescue team from Andhra Pradesh has reached Thiruvananthapuram. The unloading of inflatable boats, life jackets and other materials and equipments are progressing.
Though the team was originally planning to reach Kochi for rescue operations, they would be moving to destinations identified by the Kerala officials, said Amal Krishna, a official from Andhra Pradesh.
Alliance Air has announced it will operate flights from Kochi Naval Base from Monday to Bengaluru and Coimbatore. The flights with seating capacity of 70 passengers.
The aviation ministry has allowed commercial aircrafts to use Kochi naval air strip.
Southern Railways has decided to operate special trains from Kerala via Erode, Dindigul, Karur, Tirunelveli and Nagercoil.
Many specials will run between Ernakulam and Trivandrum via Alleppey as the route between Kayankulam via Kottayam to Ernakulam is suspended in view of floods and landslides, the railway division has said,
Ernakulam – Shoranur section via Aluva continue to remained suspended in view of damages of track at various places. Trains are also running from Palakkad to various destinations. Kozhikkode and Tirur is cleared on war foot basis and efforts are on to restore Tirur–Kuttipuram section.
Railways is transporting free of cost relief material by rail to flood-affected Kerala.
Consignment will need to be booked. NGOs/ Philanthropic organisation , PSUs , state governments across the country can book relief material free of cost.
The Punjab government has dispatched truckloads of one lakh packets of relief material comprising sugar, tea, biscuits, powdered milk, and water bottles, to flood-hit people in Kerala.
The trucks carrying relief material were flagged off by Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Member of Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu from Guru Nanak Stadium, in Ludhiana.
They will be sent by by air from the Halwara Air Force Station.
Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan has urged all States to provide assistance to Kerala. In a letter addressed to State Governors, Mr. Rajasekharan has States "to provide all possible assistance to the people of Kerala in kind, money, materials and manpower.
BJP MP Varun Gandhi has donated Rs 2 lakh to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund and urged parliamentarians and MLAs across the country to make financial assistance to the state, reeling under the worst floods in a century.
Indian Commercial Pilots Association has volunteered to fly aircrafts without payment for the rescue and relief operations.
The service of Train No.22640 Alappuzha-Chennai Central- Express will commence from Coimbatore on 19.08.2018 and will remain partially cancelled between Alappuzha and Coimbatore.
• Train No.12686 Mangaluru – Chennai Central Superfast Express at 22.15 hrs. today (18.08.2018)
• Train No.12696 Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai Central Superfast at hrs 00.45 hrs. (19.08.2018)
NCMC review rescue operations for second time
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met for the second time in two days in New Delhi on Saturday to review the rescue and relief operations in the flood affected areas in Kerala.
Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, who chaired the meeting, held a video conference with the Chief Secretaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It was decided to mobilise additional resources of all agencies including Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to provide the required assistance to Kerala, a news release said.
Cabinet Secretary directed these organisations to provide boats, helicopters, life jackets, life buoys, raincoats, gumboots, inflatable tower lights etc. Kerala Chief Secretary requested for motorised boats so as to reach people marooned in flood affected areas.
Medicines required in govt hospital in Ernakulam
Govt hospital Ernakulam, which is operating the helpline and coordinating the flow of medicines, is running short of medicines, though many contributions have gone in. They want medicines as contribution, not money.
Dr. Cyril G. Cherian, a resident medical officer, said that the hospital has bought over ₹15 lakh worth medicine with their own funds.
IAF pilots brave perils to rescue hundreds
The whirr of the twin turbine engines of the Russian-made Mi-7 helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is perhaps the best sound that persons stranded on roof-tops in flood-hit districts of Kerala can hope for.
Since Wednesday, the IAF has flown scores of sorties, hoisting more than 314 forlorn civilians from inundated neighbourhoods to relatively high-ground.
INS Garuda, the naval air station in Kochi, is the staging point for the ongoing air rescue effort code-named “Operation Karuna”.
The IAF station at Shangumugham here is the transit airbase for the forward supply of relief material, rescue equipment and defence personnel to Kochi.
Meanwhile, the rail traffic along the Ernakulam-Kottayam and the Palakkad to Coimbatore and Shoranur have been restored. Passenger train services have been restored in Ernakulam-Kottayam route at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The trains will stop in all stations en route. A relief train that began service from Angamaly will shortly reach Ernakulam, bringing people affected by flooding.
Train services have been feebly resorted in north Kerala. Passengers trains have commenced from Kozhikode to Tirur. Only towards late evening trains will run up to Shoranur. Track inspection is still going on.
Railways are running special trains between Kozhikode and Mangaluru apart from regular passenger trains. Majority of Express trains have been cancelled. Those trains that have been terminated at Kozhikode took outward journey via Konkan route.
Over 50,000 rescued in Ernakulam
About 54800 people have been rescued from various flood affected areas in Ernakulam district, says an official update. They were rescued using boats, big and small, as well as helicopters. With water levels receding somewhat in the afternoon, many were able to move out by road.
Delhi govt opens collection centres
Delhi government to open collection centres at all SDM offices from tomorrow, says Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. He asks Delhiites to donate clothes, blankets and bed sheets and to donate to the Kerala CM's relief fund
Relief pours in to flood-stricken Kerala
|Central government aid||₹600 crore|
|Tamil Nadu||₹10 crore||500 metric tonnes of rice, 300 metric tonnes of milk powder and 15,000 litres of milk, among other relief materials|
|Delhi||₹10 crore||All Aam Aadmi Party legislators are donating their one-month salary.|
|Andhra Pradesh||₹10 crore|
|Telangana||₹25 crore||Reverse Osmosis machines worth ₹2.5 crore are being sent . 'Balamrutham', food for children, worth ₹52.5 lakh.|
|Maharashtra||₹20 crore||Food packets of ₹1.5 crore and 11 ton of dry food. Rajasthani Welfare Association & JITO International contributing ₹51 lakh each.|
|Chhattisgarh||₹3 crore||A train full of rice worth around ₹7.5 crore|
Expected rainfall in the State
|District||Aug 18||Aug 19||Aug 20||Aug 21||Aug 22|
|LMR||Light to moderate rainfall|
|HRI||Heavy rainfall at isolated places|
|HVH||Heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places|
(Source: IMD data from August 18, 1.00 p.m.)
|Very light||0.1 to 2.4|
|Light||2.5 to 15.5|
|Moderate||15.6 to 64.4|
|Heavy||64.5 to 115.5|
|Very heavy||115.6 to 204.4|
Gujarat CM donates ₹10 crore
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani announces ₹10 crore financial assistance to flood hit Kerala.
"Government of Gujarat is with flood-affected people of Kerala," he wrote on Twitter. "Announced ₹10 crore financial assistance for the flood-hit State," he added.
Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah said that he will donate a month's salary to Kerala's relief efforts.
"I will be donating my salary for this month to the relief efforts in Kerala," he wrote on Twitter. "I also appeal to my colleagues in JKNC_ & others in J&K to remember what we went through in 2014 & do their own bit, how ever small, to help. From 'Heaven on earth' to 'God’s own country'," he said.
Following Mr. Abdullah's statement, former Jammu and Kashmir Haseeb Drabu said in a Facebook post: "The funding & rehab post natural calamity has got weakened in the new fiscal federal set up. The allocations under NDRF & SDRF are grossly inadequate. Now centre doesn't Bhave earmarked resources for it. FFC must work out a new system for calamity relief."
Bihar CM donates ₹10 crore to relief fund
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar donated ₹10 crore for the relief and rehabilitation works in the flood affected areas.
"No one know better than the people of Bihar about the miseries caused by natural calamities by flood," Mr. Kumar wrote. "I convey heartfelt condolance to all the victims and their families on behalf of the people of Bihar. I am confident the strength and resilience of the people of Kerala will carry the State through this catastrophe," he added.
Meanwhile, here is a look at how relentless rains over the past two months led to a chain of events which resulted in the floods.
Youth's body recovered; floodwaters begin to recede in Malappuram
The body of a youngster named Fasal who drowned in the floodwaters at Kodinhi near Tirurangadi was recovered on Saturday.
Rescue drive is in full swing to shift people trapped in flooded areas to safety in Malappuram district. Fire and Rescue personnel evacuated 1,150 marooned people to safer places across the district since Friday evening.
While 90 people were rescued at Purathur, 200 people trapped at Kalloor were evacuated to safety.
As many as 430 people people were rescued at Easwaramangalam near Ponnani. At Mattathur near Panakkad, 374 persons were evacuated to safety. Rescue personnel saved 45 stranded persons at Muthalamad near Vengara.
Although floodwaters in the Chaliyar and the Kadalundipuzha began to recede, scores of houses along the banks and in low-lying areas across Malappuram district continue to be under water.
District authorities said the exact figure if the destruction could not me made now.
Power supply is yet to be restored in many areas. Most petrol pumps in the district have closed down. Many vehicles are stranded and road connectivity is broken.
Relief aids are pouring in from people's collectives. District Collector has made a fervent appeal to come to the aid of the suffering.
AAP MLAs, MPs and ministers donate a month's salary
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal says that all AAP MLAs, MPs and ministers will donate one month's salary for Kerala's relief operations.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has asked airlines not to charge excess fare from airports in the South to the destinations in Middle East. Acting on the request of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Union Minister said airlines will levy the same fare that was prevailing before closure of Cochin international airport.
Liquor outlets closed in Ernakulam
Ernakulam District Collector orders immediate cloure of Bevco's liquor outlets and bars in hotels in district for three days.
State health department announces medical helpline
The State administration has introduced a medical helpline (no. 9946992995 ) with 30 lines for the flood-hit people of the region. Launched by the State health department in collaboration with various medical and paramedical collectives and the Ernakulam General Hospital, the line is to connect with those in need of urgent medical help, and to reach out to bed-ridden patients who cannot be relocated to hospitals right now.
The administration has urged users of the number to restrict calls for medical help and not for rescue-related support.
Patients will be divided into three categories depending on their health condition and the Ernakulam General Hospital will keep their treatment records. Their treatment status will be updated every 15 minutes online. Since the floods have dealt a blow to the availability of medicines, the Ernakulam General Hospital has opened a facility at its conference hall to receive medicines donated by volunteer organisations.
Heavy rainfall warning for 11 districts
The weather office has issued a heavy rainfall warning for 11 districts in Kerala for Saturday, indicating one more tough day for rescue teams battling to bring flood victims to safety. A mid- day forecast issued by the Met Centre in Thiruvananthapuram said Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur were most likely to experience heavy rainfall (7 to 11 cm in 24 hours).
Police clamp down on fake news
Reining in false alerts propagating through the social media, the Kerala Police have initiated action against those involved in spread fake news regarding the floods that have affected various parts of State.
The action was taken based on a report by the Cyberdome that found false alerts being propagated online with some even claiming that the Mullaperiyar dam has collapsed.
Following a directive issued by Inspector General (Thiruvananthapuram range) Manoj Abraham, the Museum police in the State police have registered a non-bailable case and commenced investigation.
The Cyberdome has also taken down certain YouTube videos and Facebook posts that conveyed false information and could possibly create panic.
Thrissur yet to be out of danger
Water rising in western parts of Thrissur district. District Collector has asked people staying near Enamavu lock to be careful. Water levels are rising fast in kole land areas and Enamakkal lake areas. There are 42 villages in the kole area. Flood situation is severe in Arimbur, Manakody, Kandasankadavu, Kanjani, Enamavu, Thoyakkavu areas.
Situation in Kozhikode improving
The flood situation in Kozhikode district improves with water receding as the rainfall too subsided. However nearly 38,000 persons belonging to 9,750 families have been sheltered at 300 camps across the district. Of this, nearly 20,000 are put up 175 camps including colleges and schools in Kozhikode city.
Relief collection centres see good response in Trivandrum
The relief collection drive spearheaded by the Thiruvananthapuram district administration has received a massive response with many hundreds of people from various cross-sections chipping in with their bit.
A container lorry carrying relief materials ,which were collected at Priyadarshini Hall in East Fort, has commenced journey to Chengannur. These included six loads of essential commodities.
Large quantities of items were also being collected at the Air Force technical area to be air dropped for those stranded in the affected areas. Around 2500 kg of food items and medicines had been dispatched to Pathanamthitta in three helicopters. Surplus materials, which had been received at the technical area, were sent to Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta in three lorries by the district administration.
Besides the Priyadarshini hall, centralised collection centres have been set up at the SMV Boys' Higher Secondary School in Thampanoor and Govt. Girls Higher Secondary School for Girls in Cotton Hill, Vazhuthacaud.
Active rescue ops by Indian Army
The Prime Minister applauded the State Government for the efforts made in meeting the challenges of the unprecedented situation. He observed that rescue of people who are still marooned remains the topmost priority. The Centre will continue to support the State Government in all its endeavours.
The Indian Army has made 13 temporary bridges to reconnect 38 remote areas. A total of 3627 personnels have been rescued till date, including 22 foreign nationals.
The Army is all set to deploy 25 fibre boats to the flood-affected regions of Thiruvalla and Chengannur. A military aircraft, transporting the boats, have landed at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The boats will soon be dispatched to the affected areas by road on lorries. While 10 boats will reach Thiruvalla, 15 were being taken to Thiruvalla.
Rahul Gandhi's request to Modi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet, requested the PM to declare it a "national disaster".
"Dear PM. Please declare #Kerala floods a National Disaster without any delay. The lives, livelihood and future of millions of our people is at stake."
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has called for a meeting with officials, including Kerala Resident Commissioner, to discuss further possible assistance from Delhi to Kerala.
Mr. Modi, in addition to the 500 crore interim relief, announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh per person to next kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the seriously injured persons, from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.
Water level recedes in Malappuram district, Navy rescues 200 from Panadand
The situation in Malappuram district has started to improve. Water has begun to recede at several areas, though hundreds of houses are still under water.
Power supply is yet to be restored in many areas. Most petrol pumps in the district have closed down. Many vehicles are stranded. Roads are broken like never before.
Relief aid is pouring in from people's collectives. The District Collector has made a fervent appeal to come to the aid of the suffering.
At least 4,500 people have been shifted from flood-hit Kuttanad to relief camps in Cherthala. Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Ramankary, Muttar, Pulinkunnu and Kavalam to evacuate stranded people.
The flood situation continues to remain grim in Chengannur and Kuttanad. An unknown number of people including infants, elderly and pregnant women remain stranded inside their homes, without food and water, awaiting rescue in Chengannur and Kuttanad.
Officials said that people from the entire Kuttanad region would be evacuated by Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, the district administration has directed the Irrigation Department to open the Vada Canal and Commercial Canal at Beach to drain out the floodwaters from Alappuzha town.
Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran has directed the Alappuzha district administration to seize all boats in Vembanad Lake and deploy it for rescue operations in flood-hit areas. The Indian Navy rescues 200 people from Panadand.
PM Narendra Modi has returned after the aerial sortie. He had only surveyed areas along the Aluva-Thrissur stretch. He is set to return to Delhi now.
Centre announces interim flood relief
The review meeting in Kochi has concluded and PM Narendra Modi has announced ₹500 crore as interim flood relief assistance for Kerala. The Central government had earlier sanctioned ₹100 crore when Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited the State last Sunday, and prior to that, another 80 crore.
The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had told the Prime Minister that initial estimates showed losses of the order of ₹ 19,512 crore and that an exact estimate would be possible only after the water recedes completely.
The Chief Minister sought an immediate assistance of ₹ 2,000 crore.
Mr. Modi will now go on an aerial sortie before flying back to Delhi.
Red alert withdrawn in many districts
Meanwhile, the red alert in all districts except Ernakulam and Idukki have been withdrawn. The situation is getting better in Chalakudy. The water level at Chalakudy River has reduced following a break in rainfall. Flood waters have started receding from Chalakudy town. The town and Muringoor overbridge were submerged in flood water.
Around 1000 people stranded at Muringoor retreat centre have been rescued.
A C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force reached Thiruvananthapuram with additional contingents of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
Members of the additional contingents would soon be deployed in Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts, particularly in the Chengannur area.
Unofficial relief camps in Aluva, Paravur
Ernakulam at the moment has 423 official camps with 143738 people from 41692 families.
There are hundreds of unofficial camps, as several revenue officials tasked with organising relief work were also stranded. When the waters swelled all of a sudden, people grouped together and set up their own shelters inside banks, churches and schools. These unofficial camps are in areas in Aluva and Paravur.
UN monitoring situation
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is saddened by the loss of lives and the destruction due to the Kerala floods and the world organisation is following the situation very closely, according to his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
More aid for Chengannur, hundreds rescued
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently at a review meeting in Kochi where the government is expected to raise demands for more Central assistance to tackle the floods. He will have an aerial sortie before returning to Delhi around 11 a.m.
Meanwhile, responding to the repeated pleas from Chengannur MLA Saji Cherian, four more helicopters have been despatched to Chengannur for emergency rescue operations. More boats are also being sent to Chengannur to reach remote locations.
Food Minister P. Thilothaman, who is stranded in Chengannur, said more smaller boats are being pressed into service to rescue people stranded in remote areas. Hundreds are being brought to dry areas since the morning. Those who were brought to safety said they had gone without food and water for the past three-four days.
Three dead bodies - two females and a male - have been recovered from Pandanad in Chengannur.
Chengannur MLA says at least 50 dead in area
Chengannur MLA Saji Cherian has said that at least 50 persons have died in Chengannur area alone. He said the bodies could be rotting as there is no way of burying them. All roads are blocked and vehicular movement is next to impossible.
Helicopters have been pressed into service from early morning. Many more helicopters would be needed to reach remote areas. There is also a severe shortage of food and medicines, he said.
As of Friday, over 64,000 people were rescued in Chengannur and Kuttanad, in Alappuzha district.
Kollam fishermen donate themselves for relief
While money and supplies are pouring in from all quarters to help the flood victims, the fishermen in Kollam have offered something else to them - their livelihood.
They haven’t ventured into the sea for the last couple of days as their fishing boats, their only source of income, are now being used for rescue operations.
Modi's aerial survey cancelled
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aerial survey has been cancelled due to inclement weather, according to official sources. Mr. Modi had arrived at the Naval Base in Kochi from Thiruvananthapuram but could not take off again for the survey.
The PM, along with CM Pinarayi Vijayan, were set to survey the flood-hit areas in Aluva, Chalakudy and Chengannur.
The Prime Minister is chairing a review meeting at the Naval Base at Kochi where the government is expected to raise demands for more Central assistance to tackle the floods. The meeting is at a conference hall near the Naval Hospital Sanjivani on the Southern Naval Command campus.
One of the major demands is for the declaration of a national disaster in Kerala to make the State eligible for more funds from the Centre. The State will also demand more funds to be released for relief work, in addition to the 260 crore already sanctioned in three phases.
Help us help Kerala
The Hindu Group of Publications invites its readers to join hands in the task of raising funds in aid of the victims of this calamity. We have set up a Relief Fund, to which generous contributions from readers are invited. The amount thus received will be made over to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).
Support from UAE PM
The Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, pledged his support and called on the community to contribute towards flood relief, in a series of tweets. The UAE has a sizeable diaspora from Kerala.
He tweeted: "The state of Kerala in India is currently witnessing huge floods, the most devastating in a century. Hundreds have been killed, hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Ahead of Eid Al Adha, do not forget to extend a helping hand to our brothers in India. The people of Kerala have always been and are still part of our success story in the UAE. We have a special responsibility to help and support those affected, especially during this holy and blessed days."
Trial by water: How Kerala is coping with an extraordinary natural disaster
With the monsoon fury showing little sign of abating, S. Anandan and M.P. Praveen report on how Kerala is coping with an extraordinary natural disaster made worse by a fragile flood management system.
82,000 rescued in battered Kerala
Hundreds of volunteers and fishworkers in Kerala joined teams from the armed forces, the National Disaster Response Force, and State government agencies on Friday in a massive operation to rescue over 82,000 persons from flooded locations in four districts.
The rescue efforts, which commenced at daybreak, continued into the night. Helicopters and boats were pressed into service at Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur to locate flood victims, drop food supplies, and shift people to higher locations.
How to donate towards Kerala flood relief efforts:
Chief Ministers Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) accepts voluntary contributions from Individuals, Organizations, Trusts, Companies and Institutions etc. All contributions towards CMDRF are exempt from Income Tax under section 80(G).
Donations now accepted through UPI mobile app like BHIM, paytm, Tez, Phonepe also. (VPA : keralacmdrf@sbi) / Scan the QR Code to donate
For Bank Counter Payment
Beneficiary Name : Principal Secretary (Fin), Treasurer CMDRF
Bank Name : State Bank of India (SBI)
Account Number : 67319948232
Branch : City Branch, Thiruvananthapuram
IFSC : SBIN0070028
For offline Contribution
Cheque/Demand Draft can be drawn in the favour of Principal Secretary (Finance), Treasurer CMDRF, payable at Thiruvananthapuram. The same may be posted/mailed to the following address:
Principal Secretary (Finance)
Thiruvananthapuram – 695 001
For effective collaboration and communications between authorities, volunteers and public, the following website has been created http://keralarescue.in/
(Information provided by the Chief Minister's Office, Kerala)