Kerala rains | Live updates: Liverpool, Barcelona express solidarity with the flood-affected

Modi arrives in Thiruvananthapuram, to take up aerial survey today.

Updated - August 18, 2018 07:54 am IST

Published - August 17, 2018 08:35 am IST

Naval helicopters have all begun airlift operations at first light of the day

Naval helicopters have all begun airlift operations at first light of the day

Hundreds of volunteers and fishworkers in Kerala joined teams from the armed forces, the National Disaster Response Force, and State government agencies today in a massive operation to rescue over 82,000 persons from flooded locations in four districts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Thiruvananthapuram late in the night to make an aerial survey of the monsoon havoc in the State tomorrow.

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.

Rescue workers braved heavy rain and strong river currents to help stranded residents to safety.

More than 3,14,000 people have been shifted to 2,094 relief camps.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who discussed the flood situation with Mr. Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman, said additional equipment, including big Army boats and more helicopters, would be used to rescue citizens marooned by floodwaters at Chalakudy and Chengannur, the worst-affected areas.

Here are the latest updates:

 

12.40 am, August 18, 2018

 

Liverpool, Barcelona express solidarity with Kerala

Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona have expressed solidarity with the people of flood-affected Kerala, and have appealed to their supporters to provide help. Also expressing their sympathies  La Liga and Chelsea FC have also called on their supporters to rush aid to the State. The La Liga webpage goes on further to add: Pray for Kerala!

 

11 pm

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Thiruvananthapuram and he will stay at Raj Bhavan tonight.

Mr. Modi is expected to aerially survey flood-hit Kerala tomorrow. More than 160 people have been killed and over 1.5 lakh moved to relief camps in the State that is witnessing one of the worst floods in decades.

A high level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary met again earlier in the day to discuss the flood situation.

A senior Home Ministry official said the use of the Naval airstrip at Kochi for use by civilian airlines has been offered to the Kerala government as the civilian airport remained closed. A team of officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation will be travelling to Cochin on Saturday to test whether smaller turboprop flight operations can take place from the naval airbase, following which a decision will be taken to start civilian flights, according to Secretary, R.N. Choubey. Flight operations from the inundated Cochin International airport have been suspended till August 26.

Cabinet Secretary P.K Sinha, who chaired the meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), also 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 Home Ministry spokesperson said.

 

Update at 10 pm

82,442 people were rescued today

Death toll between May 29 and August 17: 324

Death toll between August 8 and August 17: 164

People in relief camps: 3,14,391

2094 relief camps opened across Kerala

40,000 State police officials and 3200  fire force officials working on ground

9.15 pm

 

Modi leaves for Kerala

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Kerala to take stock of the flood situation.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Modi also spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed about the situation. “Leaving for Kerala to take stock of the flood situation in the state,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

The Prime Minister’s Office said, “The suffering of the people of Kerala has been in his thoughts for the last few days. He will review the status of relief and rescue operations, and will also undertake an aerial survey of the flood affected areas.”

Mr. Modi left for Kerala after attending the last rites of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Top police officials told  The Hindu  yesterday that the Prime Minister would stay overnight in the Raj Bhavan and set out early on August 18 to flood-devastated regions on a military helicopter.

8.10 pm

 

Navy sends drinking water to Kochi

Navy has sent fleet replenishment tanker INS Deepak to Kochi with 8 lakh litres of water to address the drinking water issue.

 

7 pm

Insurers asked to expeditiously settle claims

Insurance regulator Irdai has asked all insurance companies to set up special camps and make immediate payments against insurance claims.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has issued guidelines in the regard for both life and non-line insurance claims and asked them to report the progress.

“Initiate immediate action to ensure that all reported claims are registered and eligible claims are settled expeditiously,” said Irdai’s guidelines to life insurance companies.

 

6.30 pm

 

Punjab announces Rs. 10 crore as relief

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced Rs. 10 crore worth of immediate relief for the flood-ravaged state of Kerala.

While Rs. 5 crore is being transferred from the Punjab Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to Kerala CM’s Relief Fund, the remaining Rs 5 crore will be in the form of ready-to-eat food material and other supplies, to be flown out with the help of the Defence Ministry.

An official spokesperson disclosed that the first Air Force sortie was expected to take off tomorrow to deliver 30 tonnes of ready-to-eat foods, such as biscuits, rusks, bottled water, and milk powder, to the flood-hit state. About one lakh food packets are to be sent in the first consignment. The remaining will be dispatched as and when requisitioned by the Kerala government.

 A total of four sorties, carrying 30 tonnes each, would be undertaken, said the spokesperson, adding that the Punjab government was pulling out all the stops to ensure timely relief measures for the crisis-ridden Kerala state.

6.05 pm

 

Flights to be operated from Thiruvananthapuram

Six Air India flights from Kochi to be operated from Thiruvananthapuram international airport on August 18, 19 and 20.

 

5.05 pm

 

Waters of Vembanad lake begin to intrude Mulavukad

Flood waters of the Vembanad lake have begun to intrude the coastal island of Mulavukad on Friday evening.

With high-tide worsening the situation further, people have started leaving their residences to relatively safe places. While, water continues to gain ground.

A strong jet of water gushes right across the road leading to the island adjacent to the Container Terminal Road.

A rope has been tied across the road to help people cross the inundated stretch without being swept away by the strong current.

Baby Prabhakaran, in her 60s, almost had a fall despite hanging on to the rope thanks to the local volunteers who timely extended a helping hand.

“The dysfunctional shrimp farms on either side of the road have made things worse. Else there would have been proper protection against such water intrusion,” said Dineshan, a local resident, whose house is in danger of being submerged.

 

5.00 pm

 

More than one lakh people move to relief camps

About 1.23 lakh people had been moved to about 500 relief camps in different parts of Ernakulam district by Friday afternoon.

Though rescue and relief operations by different agencies have gathered momentum in the course of the day, there has been no letup in the appeals for help from different quarters for the rescue of those marooned at different places.

 

4.50 pm

 

Ham radio to flood related calamities

Wayanad district administration  has set up a ham radio net work in the district as a precautionary measure to tackle flood related calamities.

Ham radio set up at the Wayanad collectorate.

Ham radio set up at the Wayanad collectorate.

 

 As many as four amateur radio stations have set up in the district including each one at three taluk head quarters and collectorate in Wayanad to meet any emergency.

4.30 pm

Resolve the calamity with ‘humaneness, focus, requisite efficiency’, says SC

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra reached out to the people of Kerala whose lives have been swept away by the floods while urging the Centre and the Kerala government to resolve the calamity with “humaneness, focus and requisite efficiency”.

“This is a crisis and we want everyone to wake up to the situation,” Chief Justice Misra observed orally on Friday.

Empathising with the suffering of the people of Kerala, Chief Justice Misra said “you have never faced such a calamity.”

 

 

4.10 pm

 

Kerala rains: Navy rescues pregnant woman

Twenty-five-year old Sajitha Jabil, in an advanced stage of her pregnancy, had ruptured her amniotic sac when she was rescued by a naval rescue team of the Southern Naval Command from Chengamanad near Aluva.

 

3.55 pm

 

District administration dismiss rumours of fuel shortage

The district administration has dismissed rumours of fuel shortage in Thiruvananthapuram. Rumours of a possible fuel shortage due to non-arrival of stock from Kochi had led motorists to queue up at pumps in the city from Thursday evening. Some fuel stations in the city ran out of stock by Friday afternoon due to the spike in demand.

According to the Additional District Magistrate V.R. Vinod, the petroleum companies have informed the district administration that stocks will be replenished on Saturday morning.

District Collector K.Vasuki has also instructed pump owners to give priority to the large number of Government and private vehicles which are involved in relief work. Each pump should have reserve stock of 3000 litres of diesel and 1000 litres of petrol.

 

3.45 pm

 

Lorry movement affected

Lorry movemnt to Thiruvananthapuram area was affected on Friday morning as traffic was regulated at Thottappilly in Alappuzha.

The BPCL official said that there is a small regulation in Thrissur district was brought in as the road to the district is cut-off at Aluva on the Kochi side and Kudiran on the Palakkad side. 

 

3.35 pm

 

Kochi metro collects food packets

Kochi metro is collecting food packets and other food items like biscuits, bread etc to be distributed at Aluva and other places.

Kochi metro has appealed to the people that "We are in touch volunteers who are distributing food there.  Appeal people to provide small food packets to be delivered there. We can receive them in all stations."

The KMRL has also sought public cooperation to ensure that only the needy commute by metro. This comes in the wake of many people from the city traveling by metro to see flooded areas and to take photos.

3.10 pm

NCMC meets to discuss Kerala floods

A high level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary met again on Friday to discuss the flood situation in Kerala. A senior Home Ministry official said that use of Naval airstrip at Kochi for use by civilian airlines has been offered to the Kerala Government as the civilian airport remained closed. The Kerala Government has been advised to explore use of V-SAT communication links in areas where telephone connectivity has been disrupted, the spokesperson said. The Cabinet Secretary also directed that emergency medicines may be put on standby. The NCMC will meet again on Saturday to review the situation.

 

3.00 pm

When Kochi Metro Rail tweeted that their metro stations are not equipped to function as relief camps, Malayalam writer N.S. Madhavan was quick to reply saying,"If Paris metro can double as heated shelters for the poor during wintry nights, so can Kochi Metro during #KeralaFloods. Come on, guys, show the Kochi spirit!"

2.55 pm

Train services from Ernakulam to Thiruvananthapuram

The Ernakulam area manager of the Southern Railway said that train services will be running Ernakulam south to Thiruvananthapuram from 11.30 am today. The next service will be at 04.00pm (16.00hrs)

The area manager added that people wanting to travel to Chennai, Bengaluru ,and northern India, may go to Thiruvananthapuram and take trains from there. Trains from Thiruvananthapuram will be running via Tirunelveli ,Dindigal, Erode. Train services towards Palakkad via Kottayam, Ernakulam, Shoranur is likely to be suspended till tomorrow, he added.

Train services in Thiruvananthapuram-Alapouzha-Ernakulam and Ernakulam-Shoranur-Palakkad sections to remain suspended till 4 pm on August 18.

Railway Disaster Management numbers 91-91882 92595 and 91-91882-93595.

2.40 pm

'Unprecedented rescue and relief operations' mobilised in Kerala

The National Crisis Management Committee met for the second time in two days in New Delhi to review flood situation in Kerala and decided to mobilise unprecedented rescue and relief operations in the flood affected areas.

Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, who chaired the meeting, also 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.

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.

So far, the Centre has mobilised deployment of 339 motorised boats, 2,800 life jackets, 1,400 life buoys, 27 light towers and 1,000 raincoats. Further, 72 motor boats, 5,000 life jackets, 2,000 life buoys, 13 light towers and 1,000 raincoats are being deployed. 1,00,000 food packets have been distributed and arrangements are being made to supply another 1,00,000 food packets. Provision has been made for supply of milk powder as well.

Indian Navy has deployed 51 boats along with diving teams, 1,000 life jackets and 1,300 gumboots are being rushed to Kerala today. It flew 16 sorties in 48 hours in rescue operations. It will airdrop 1,600 food packets today. Coast Guard has deployed 30 boats along with rescue teams, 300 life jackets, seven life rafts and 144 life buoys. The IAF deployed 23 helicopters and 11 transport aircraft. Some of the aircraft are being flown in from Yelahanka and Nagpur.

Army pressed into service 10 columns, 10 Engineering Task Forces (ETFs), 60 boats and 100 life jackets.

NDRF has mobilised 43 rescue teams and 163 boats along with other equipment.

Cabinet Secretary directed these organisations to mobilise additional boats and equipment including from CAPFs such as CRPF, BSF and SSB.

Railways has provided 1,20,000 water bottles. Another 1,20,000 bottles are ready to be despatched. It is also running a special train carrying 2.9 lakh litres of drinking water that will reach Kayakulam tomorrow.

Use of Naval airstrip at Kochi for use by civilian airlines has been offered to the Kerala Government as the civilian airport remained closed.

Kerala Government has been advised to explore use of V-SAT communication links in areas where telephone connectivity has been disrupted.

Cabinet Secretary also directed that emergency medicines may be put on standby. The NCMC will meet again tomorrow to review the situation,  a PIB release said.

2.30 pm

Shortage of men and medicine at Kalamassery

The shortage of medicines are worrying the medical teams of the Government Medical College, Kalamassery attending to the medical needs of those who are sheltered in rescue camps.

As many as eight medical and rehabilitation camps are being managed across the city by the doctors of the hospital. A camp is also being run at the hospital itself, where around 150 persons have sought refuge.

However, there is shortage of medicine, said Dr. Peter Vazhayil, the superintendent of the Medical College.

Most of the camps are located at Kalamassery region. Each medical team visiting the camps will have a medical officer, a senior resident doctor, a staff nurse, pharmacist and a house surgeon.

The telephone lines of the hospital are flooded with calls seeking the service of the doctors. The medical teams are being dispatched according to the availability of the doctors, Dr. Vazhayil said.

Meanwhile, around 70 patients from the Taluk Hospital, Paravur, a severely hit area, were shifted to the medical college on Friday. Another batch of 90 is expected shortly, he said.

2.15 pm

Train updates: Kozhikode-Mangaluru service partially restored

Passenger train service between Kozhikode and Mangaluru has been partially restored but only special services will be operated on the route. Two services were already operated from Kozhikode today. The Mangaluru-Thiruvananthapuram services are not likely to be restored by 5 p.m. as informed earlier.

The next service from Mangaluru to Kozhikode will start at 3.20 p.m.

Train updates: Ernakulam-Trivandrum services running

One trains service from Ernakulam south will be running to Trivandrum by 11.30 p.m. The next train will be at 02.00 p.m. There is expected to be another service after 4.00 p.m.

2.00 pm

Situation grim in North Paravur

A heavily-battered North Paravur in Ernakulam district was left gasping for breath as the deluge literally cut it off from adjoining areas. Communication and connectivity, drinking water and power supply all remain badly hit. Even the relief and rescue measures remain hampered as even the ground level revenue officials remain marooned.

“Water level rose alarming this morning. Many of our village officers remain marooned in camps, their own houses or even village offices and could no longer be contacted. Even the collection of basic statistics like the number of camps and inmates has become impossible. Even a deputy collector who came along with rescue forces got stuck at Valia Pazhampilly Thuruth,” a senior revenue official told The Hindu .

A rough estimate puts the number of relief camps at around 125 though the actual numbers may far exceed it. The process of setting up designated camps and shifting people has been replaced by an ad-hoc system of people taking refuge in all available shelters, which they think were safe. Since buildings for running camps have run out, people were being moved to places like Thrikkakara and Kalamassery. Food is running short in many camps with movement of essential supplies hit owing to the heavy inundation.

“We are in desperate need for food, drinking water and sanitary napkins. While water is yet to enter the camps, it has reached the premises,” said Roshni Raveendran, one of the 2000-odd inmates of a camps being run at North Aduvassery in Paravur taluk. The inundation is so severe that several camps may have to be relocated if the water continues to rise.

“Naval boats remain the sole source to reach out. But they were now focusing on rescue measures rather than movement of supplies to relief camps,” sources said. With hundreds still trapped in houses and rooftops, rescue, indeed, remains the priority.

Inundated roads mean that either boats or bigger vehicles like buses and lorries could be deployed in the area both for evacuation and supply of essential items. Even that remains a remote possibility with all routes out of Paravur seriously hit.

“Road shortly after Paravur Bridge connecting Paravur with Thrissur and Kodungalloor remains flooded. Both the routes out to Ernakulam also remain compromises with traffic through Cheriapilli Bridge restricted after it developed a crack whereas the either side of Arattu Kadavu bridge is so badly flooded that movement through it remains risky with water level so high as to submerge the tyres of smaller vehicles,” said Suraj Sudan, a resident of Pattanam, who had since moved to Kakkanad for his brother’s marriage scheduled for next week. With Paravur-Cherai Road also flooded, Paravur remains literally isolated. 

1.50 pm

'No panic situation in fuel, all supply points working well'

There are no supply issues with fuel — petrol or diesel in the State, said Venkataraman Iyer, State head, Retail, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

The rush to the petrol stations across the State is only a fear factor that it would be in short supply in the wake of the floods. All supply points are working well. The only issue is that of petrol pumps that are submerged.

The Indian Oil Corporation marketing personnel also told The Hindu that there are no problems in supply. “A lot of requests have come for fuel for generators that had become operational as KSEB had switched off the connections. We are giving fuel to all, there is no shortage at all” said the official.

1.40 pm

A helicopter for each district: Defence Minister

Ministry of Defence has decided to deploy at least one helicopter at each district headquarter in Kerala, said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

She added that the instructions for the same has been given and, with the exception of extreme weather conditions, these deployments will be complete by tonight. She added that almost 450 motorised boats will be provided to the State government after they updated their projected requirement from 100 to 600 yesterday evening. "Rest will be taken on hire & provided by armed forces," she wrote on Twitter.

 

1.20 pm

Plea to postpone national-level exams in Kerala

A group of job applicants appearing for various national-level selection examinations have urged the authorities to postpone all such examinations in Kerala in view of the continuing flood havoc.

They pointed out that a number of such examinations were taking place in the next two weeks. An applicant in Kuttiadi in Kozhikode pointed out that she could not take the RBI Grade B examination held on August 16 as she could not travel to her nearest exam centre located in Kozhikode city because of the flooded roads. Another applicant pointed out that the selection exam for office assistants in regional rural banks (RRB) was scheduled to be held on Sunday next. He said a large number of applicants in Kerala would not be able to take the test.

The group wanted the Central government authorities to either postpone all national level job tests to September or repeat the tests exclusively for Kerala candidates.

1.00 pm

Over 25,000 in relief camps in Thrissur

As many as 26 people have been airlifted from Chalakudy to a relief camp at Kuttanellur, near Thrissur. In all, as many as 26672 people of 8362 families are being housed in 286 camps in Thrissur district.

A house collapsed at Kattilangadi near Wadakkanchery, Thrissur. Chalakudy and Thrissur have been severely affected in Thursday's rain

A house collapsed at Kattilangadi near Wadakkanchery, Thrissur. Chalakudy and Thrissur have been severely affected in Thursday's rain

Meanwhile, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday initiated a suo motu proceeding and directed the Rural Police Superintendent to provide food and shelter to around 500 families lodged at a relief camp in Aluva, Ernakulam. The proceedings are initiated on the basis of the information received by it.

Additionally, Kochi metro spokesperson has put out a statement denying the news that metro stations have become relief camps.  "This is wrong information. We are working in a distress situation with very minimal facilities.  No drinking water or toilets are there.  Even cleaning staff is not available.  Please communicate that is is a wrong information," he added.

12.35 pm

Chalakudy, Thrissur most affected

Though intensity of rainfall has reduced and water level in Bharathapuzha and Chalakudy river has started to fall, many places in Thrissur district are facing heavy flooding. Chalakudy, Mala, Vadanappilly, Irinjalakuda and Thrissur are most affected. Chalakudy town is still under water and the overbridge at Muringoor has submerged. Water has even entered into a few relief camps in Chalakudy.

One elderly woman and her son were killed as an uprooted tree fell on their house at Kunnumpuzha near Chalakudy.

Paliyekkara toll plaza is under water and the Thrissur city, including Swaraj Round, is facing heavy flooding. Shops are closed and traffic is disrupted as the Shornur-Ottappalm route has been cut off from the city due to a problem with the Viyyur bridge. Shortage of fuel at pumps reported from many areas.

12.25 pm

Spoke with PM about flood situation: CM Vijayan

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that he has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the current flood situation.

"PM inquired about the flood situation. In many places, the rains continue to remain strong and therefore a serious situation exists," he wrote on Twitter, adding that people should remain cautious as all districts apart from Kasargod are under red alert.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she was in touch with Mr. Vijayan with regard to the rescue coordination efforts.

"Spoke to Hon. CM of Kerala few minutes ago," she wrote on Twitter. "Enquired if the required materials are sufficiently being provided and if rescue coordination is happening. The Hon. CM of Kerala requested for more helicopters. Have instructed Vice Chief of Air Staff to provide the required assistance," she said.

Finance Minister Dr. Thomas Issac too stressed on the need to remain alert and evacuate when asked to.

Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac doing his bit in the rescue operations in Alappuzha.

Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac doing his bit in the rescue operations in Alappuzha.

"Hope that it [the respite in rain and intermittent sunshine] does not prompt water savvy Kuttanadians to stay back and repeat the nightmare of yesterday," he wrote on Twitter. "The flood is only nearing its peak. Every one must evacuate," he added.

12.10 pm

Rain-hit people find a soothing experience at ‘Apna Ghar’

Though a return to normal life is still a dream for most of them, 740 rain-hit people temporarily occupying the Kerala government’s Apna Ghar lodging facility at Kanjikode, near here, are finding it a soothing experience.

Ready for inauguration for over two months, Apna Ghar was visualised as a state-of-the-art lodging facility for migrant workers, a first of its kind initiative in the country.

The State government has already made it clear that the facility, spread over 44,000 sq ft, would be utilised for migrant workers after addressing the unexpected rain distress situation.

 

11.55 am

Rain resumes in Kottayam, traffic remains disrupted

After a short sunny spell in the early hours of the day, Kottayam district is once again experiencing heavy downpour in most places. Pala town, which remained inundated for two days, has a respite on Friday morning as water from River Meenachil has receded from most parts. However, the floodwaters have reached Kottayam down the stream intensifying the misery. The situation in Vaikom too remains grim as areas like Vadayar remained inundated. Authorities have opened 48 relief camps and people continue to pour in.

Traffic in the district remain disrupted with pockets even in hilly areas remaining inundated as most of the rivulets were in spate . Traffic on Thalayolaparambu-Vaikom route has come to a standstill. Traffic on Pala- Kottayam, Pala-Ponkunnam, and Pala-Erattupetta remain disrupted for the third day consecutively.

11.45 am

Flood waters in Kannur recede

Flood situation in the eastern hill areas of Kannur district improved on Friday as the heavy rains that continued to batter the area over the past few days started to taper off.

The Revenue authorities involved in relief operations informed that the water level in the rivers in the area that were overflowing on Thursday have started receding. Inclement weather conditions in the area also improved, they said. No incidents of landslips have been reported since Thursday morning.

Four families at Keezhur in the Iritty taluk were shifted to the nearby camp after major earth cracks developed in the area on Friday. A total of 2035 people are still staying in the 22 relief camps opened in different parts of the hill areas.

11.30 am

Train schedule update

Due to landslips and flashfloods in various sections of Trivandrum and Palghat divisions, the Visakhapatnam – Kollam Express (train no. 18567), that left on August 16 has been terminated at Coimbatore and will be partially cancelled between Coimbatore and Kollam. It will return as Kollam–Visakhapatnam Express (train no. 18568) from Coimbatore on August 17, 2018.

11.10 am

Drinking water supply remains disrupted

Drinking water supply in all districts except Kasargod remains disrupted as treatment plants remain inundated. Kerala Water Authority sources told The Hindu that resuming supply would not be easy and the government should explore the possibility of carting drinking water from neighbouring States to meet the immediate needs in the affected areas. This is despite the fact that the KWA field staff are diligently attempting to set things right.

 

10.50 am

Nurse Lini’s widower donates first month’s salary to Kerala CM’s relief fund

“The government and people of  Kerala stood by me and my two children in our worst crisis, and I wanted to make at least a token repayment of this huge emotional debt.”

This is how Sajeesh Puthur, 36, described the donation of his first monthly salary as a government clerk to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund to battle the fury of the floods raging across the State.

 

 

10.30 am

Road, railway connectivity still a challenge

The situation has improved considerably in Palakkad district with rains taking a respite for the last few hours. However, road connectivity with Thrissur and Kochi continues to remain severed because of the landslip that occurred in the national highway stretch at Kuthiran Hills on Thursday. Clearing works are progressing.

An accident on the NH Vadakara-Kozhikode route left one woman injured. KSRTC has resumed service from Kozhikode to north Kerala districts except Wayanad

An accident on the NH Vadakara-Kozhikode route left one woman injured. KSRTC has resumed service from Kozhikode to north Kerala districts except Wayanad

 

KSRTC has resumed service from Kozhikode to north Kerala districts except Wayanad after being off the road for two days. Though the ghat roads to Wayanad are partially cleared, the collapse of roads leading up to the ghats are holding up bus services from Kozhikode to Wayanad.

Train services from Kozhikode to Shoranur side has been suspended till 4 p.m. It will be restored only after the inspection of tracks at Malampuzha, Pallippuram and Kuttippuram. However two special trains operated between Kozhikode and Mangaluru in the morning.

Rajadhani, Nizamuddin, Netravathi and Poorna Express trains terminated journey at Kozhikode. These trains resumed outward journey from Kozhikode. Four platforms in Kozhikode and two in Kallayi railway stations are occupied by terminated trains.

10.15 am

Respite in raining in North Kerala, morning sunshine brings cheers

After two days of relentless downpour that claimed several lives, there has been respite from the rains in the north Kerala region. However, people continue to stay in the government relief camps opened in all the districts by government agencies as well as by NGOs and private groups. For instance, in Kozhikode, there more than 23,000 people in the relief camps. In Malappuram, the worst hit in the Malabar region, over 2000 people are provided accommodation in the government-run relief camps. However, many more people are being accommodated in informal camps opened by NGOs, voluntary groups, political parties, mosques and madrasas.

Traffic Update:

Traffic through Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam National Highway is likely to be disrupted as the shutters of the Thottappally spillway would be opened at 11 a.m. Kollam City Police Commissioner has advised people to avoid travel through the highway except for emergencies.

10.05 am

Relief in heavy rain expected from August 19

Promising to bring some respite from the ravages of the monsoon in Kerala, the Indian Met Department has scaled down its heavy rainfall warning for the State from August 19. The depression in the Bay of Bengal that wad driving the current spell of rain has moved onto land and weakened, Director of the Met Centre, K.Santhosh said.

Meanwhile, rescue requests continue to pour in from regions along the Periyar and Chalakudy river as the flood situation continues to remain grim.

While the rain has stopped and become sporadic for now, thousands are stranded on house terraces and isolated structures and places. The Ernakulam district administration has opened 449 camps in which 1,18,3395 people from 26,825 families are sheltered.

The forces engaged in rescue ops have begun the efforts at first light, but most emergency numbers for rescue in the public domain are either dysfunctional or choked with heavy traffic.

The Varapuzha region, part of the Vembanad lake ecosystem is badly inundated and around 100 people, including inmates of a nearby orphanage besides senior citizens, are being shifted to safety on canoes and makeshift floating objects. "None of the emergency numbers are working or responding. The authorities should have given multiple hotline numbers that are functional. We waited for a day and night and are now shifting the people ourselves," said Yesudasan Varapuzha.

Meanwhile, flooding had forced shifting of a relief camp that was operational at Eloor to the Rajagiri school in Kalamassery.

9.55 am

Threatening swell in Bharathapuzha

The situation in Malappuram district continues to be ominously grim with all major rivers remaining in spate and hundreds of houses under water. Thousands of people are displaced and nearly 5,000 are in relief camps.

A 70-year-old woman, Kalikutty Monthayil, died at relief camp at Mattathur near Panakkad in the early hours of Friday. When she fell critically ill last night, she could not be given any medical aid as the madrasa and the mosque which sheltered the 40-odd families of Mattathur were marooned. The attempts to bring a doctor to confirm her death around 3 a.m. failed as the area remained cut off.

Although the Chaliyar began showing signs of receding, the Kadalundipuzha remained bulging. Scores of houses, some of them multi-storied, along the banks of the Kadalundipuzha are completely submerged.

The Bharathapuzha continued to rise threateningly on Friday morning, submerging houses, roads and bridges.

Fear gripped the people living in the western coastal side of the district as fresh predictions of gusty wind and surge in the sea came on Thursday night. People in the low lying western side of the district were relatively spared until now.

Although there was some sunshine in the morning, fresh clouds soon began to shroud the district.

9.45 am

Situation improving in Muvattupuzha

Bringing a sliver of hope amidst all round gloom, water is beginning to recede in Muvattupuzha town, which was badly hit by the Muvattupuzha River in spate.

According to Muvattupuzha DySP K Bijumon, water level is significantly dropping in the town though the situation continues to be grim at the areas along the banks.

Large numbers of fishermen West Kochi and Chertha arrived with their traditional boat in Kalamassery for rescue

Large numbers of fishermen West Kochi and Chertha arrived with their traditional boat in Kalamassery for rescue

 

"Water had risen by two to three feet in the town and that has now dropped to around one feet. It is the badly affected places like Rakkad and Ramamangalam along the riverside that remains hit, " he said.

Along the riverside areas, water had risen by eight to ten feet, though overall, the water levels are dropping. Mr. Bijumon said that though people remain stranded in the top floors of their buildings and houses, they were no longer in danger as the water level is dipping. Those who were facing imminent threat have been rescued. Teams of Navy, NDRF, revenue and fire and rescue personnel continue to camp in the area.

However, connectivity remains an issue. Traffic to Idukki is non-existent while only heavy vehicles can ply the road connecting Muvattupizha with Ernakulam as areas from Kadathy remains out of bounds for smaller vehicles. KSRTC service remains hit as well as the stretch along Perumbavur.

9.30 am

Airlift operations commence in Kochi

Naval Base station INS Venduruthy is setting up a community kitchen for 3000 people at UC College in Aluva from noon August 17.

Naval helicopters — Seaking, ALH and Chetak — have all begun airlift operations at first light. More rescue teams are being deployed to augment the rescue efforts, especially in Chalakudy where the flood situation has worsened.

Situation grim in Pandalam

The situation in Pandalam town has turned grim overnight with the water level in the Achankovil river rising past midnight last night. Scores of people were stranded in their homes by morning and had to be rescued by the local community and fisherfolks who reached there from Kollam.

9.15 am

Traffic restored on ghat section of roads  to Wayanad

Traffic through all ghat section of roads to Wayanad, except Periya ghat section of road on the Mananthavadi- Kannur State highway, restored on Friday morning.

The road connectivity on ghat section of Roads including Wayanad ghat section on Kozhikode Kollegal National highway 766; Kutyadi ghat on the Mananthavadi-Kuttiadi State highway; Boys town ghat road on Mnanthavadi-Kannur highway; Nadukani ghat section on the Malappuram-Sulthan Bathery highway; and Sulthan Bathery- Ooty inter-State high way are restored, District disaster control room sources said.

However reopening works are underway on the Periya ghat section of road on the Mananthavadi -Kannur State highway.

There was a traffic disruption on the NH766 at Ponkuzhi , 20 km from Sulthan Bathery (and 100 km from Mysuru), because of inundation on road. But now it is fit for traffic, the sources added.

9.00 am

Massive rescue operation launched in Thrissur

The situation in Thrissur district worsened overnight, with the Chalakudy river, swollen by heavy rains in the upstream areas and the release of waters from dams, breaching its banks. Residents in most parts of Chalakudy town woke up to find themselves cut off from the rest of the State. The Paliyekkara toll plaza was flooded and traffic along the Mannuthy-Edapally national highway came to a halt.

Rescue efforts were underway in Pathanamthitta also.

With the strong currents in the Periyar and Chalakudy rivers making it difficult to operate boats, rescue teams sought the help of helicopters to drop food supplies and airlift flood victims to safety.

8.45 am

Landslips batters Wayanad

Landslip site at Panharakolly near Mananthavadi in Wayanad

Landslip site at Panharakolly near Mananthavadi in Wayanad

 

Isolated landslips were reported at various places in the Wayanad district following the heavy rainfall on Thursday night.

In a major landslip at Panharkkolly near Mananthavadi, large areas were washed away. However no casualty was reported as around 60 families in the area had already been shifted to relief camps at Pilakkavu and Kuttimoola. Five houses were destroyed fully in the landslip.

 

PM Modi expected to visit affected areas today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to touch down in Thiruvananthapuram late on August 17 to review the  flood  situation in Kerala.

Top police officials told  The Hindu  that the Prime Minister would stay overnight in the Raj Bhavan and set out early on August 18 to flood-devastated regions on a military helicopter.

Mr. Modi was likely to fly down to Thiruvananthapuram after attending the state funeral of Vajpayee in New Delhi.

 

 

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)

Treasurer CMDRF

Secretariat

Thiruvananthapuram – 695 001

Kerala, INDIA

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)

 

Emergency numbers:

Ernakulam: 0484-2423513, 7902200300, 7902200400

Idukki: 0486-2233111, 9061566111, 9383463036

Thrissur: 0487-2362424, 9447074424

(As provided by CMO Kerala)

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