Home >Politics >Policy >Kerala floods highlights: Death toll reaches 324; PM Modi arrives to take stock of the situation
An aerial view shows partially submerged houses at a flooded area in the southern state of Kerala, 17 August. Photo: Reuters
An aerial view shows partially submerged houses at a flooded area in the southern state of Kerala, 17 August. Photo: Reuters

Kerala floods highlights: Death toll reaches 324; PM Modi arrives to take stock of the situation

Friday’s highlights on Kerala floods that have so far killed 324 people and displaced over 300,000 across the state

OTHERS : Unprecedented rains continued to wreak havoc across Kerala, bringing the coastal state to a standstill, affecting lives across the state and causing damages exceeding Rs 50,000 crore.The death toll has reached 324, while over 3 lakh people are now in relief camps, and 82,442 were rescued on Friday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kerala on Friday evening to take stock of the flood situation, and is expected to announce mega relief package for the state. Here are the highlights and developments on the flood situation from Friday:

17 Aug 2018, 11:10:00 PM IST

PM Modi arrives in Kerala

17 Aug 2018, 10:41:00 PM IST

Army joins rescue operations in Karnataka’s rain-hit Kodagu district

The army has joined operations to rescue people stranded due to floods and landslides in rain-battered Kodagu district bordering Kerala, officials said today. All major roads leading to Kodagu are blocked and a massive rescue operation has been launched, they said. Multiple agencies, including army’s one column of Dogra Regiment with 60 personnel, are involved in the operation. The army’s engineering task force, comprising 73 personnel with boats and other rescue equipment, is on its way to the area, officials said. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 10:35:00 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi urges Congress workers to help those in need

17 Aug 2018, 10:05:00 PM IST

Telangana CM to donate Rs 25 crore

Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has announced Rs 25 crore immediate financial aid to flood-hit Kerala. He has instructed his chief secretary S.K.Joshi that the amount should reached Kerala immediately, as per a press statement.Rao has also ordered to dispatch to Kerala Rs 2.50 crores worth reverse osmosis machines to clear polluted waters. He has called upon Telangana’s industrialists, IT and other big business leaders to come forward and help Kerala. Yunus Lasania/Mint

17 Aug 2018, 09:33:00 PM IST

Army continues rescue operations

17 Aug 2018, 09:22:00 PM IST

DGCA asks airlines to add more flights, cap fares

Aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) today asked domestic airlines to operate additional flights to Kerala and cap fares as the state reels under a deluge that has forced its busiest airport in Kochi to shut operations till 26 August. DGCA, which held talks with the carriers, said it is constantly monitoring airfares on 32 direct routes operating to/from Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Coimbatore and Mangalore. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 09:08:00 PM IST

Delhi govt to donate Rs 10 crore to Kerala relief fund

17 Aug 2018, 08:57:00 PM IST

Over 3 lakh people in relief camps, 82,442 people rescued today: CM

“Death toll 324 from May 29. 3,14, 391 people have been moved to the relief camps. 82,442 people were rescued today,” says CM. HT

17 Aug 2018, 08:50:00 PM IST

No shortage of petrol, difficulty in getting fuel to petrol stations: CM

“More army boats will reach Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram tonight. Food is being distributed to those stranded outside and people in relief camps through helicopters and boats.“Use of Naval airstrip at Kochi for use by civilian airlines has been offered to the Kerala government as the Kochi airport remained closed.There is no shortage of petrol, difficulty in getting fuel to petrol stations due to flooding on the roads,” says CM. HT

17 Aug 2018, 08:37:00 PM IST

Situation grim in Chalakudy and Chengannur, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan

“The situation grim in Chalakudy and Chenganur due to strong flow of water. From tomorrow, more army boats and helicopterse will be used in these areas.Fifteen big army boats will reach chalakudy on Saturday, five boats will be in Kalady , 15 in Chengannur and 10 in Thiruvalla. Rescue efforts in these areas will begin again from 6 am tomorrow morning,” says CM. HT

17 Aug 2018, 08:30:00 PM IST

CM Pinarayi Vijayan holds press conference

“There are 2094 relief camps. People in the camps are being provided food and water,” says CM Pinarayi Vijayan at a press conference.Fourteen army helicopters, 79 NDRF boats and 403 fishermen boats taking part in relief efforts, he says. HT

17 Aug 2018, 07:55:00 PM IST

PM Modi leaves for Kerala

17 Aug 2018, 07:45:00 PM IST

Rescuers battle treacherous conditions to rescue animals

An animal charity body said today its rescuers were battling treacherous conditions to rescue and rehabilitate stranded and abandoned animals. Humane Society International India said many animals have perished in the disaster and were working with the Kerala government and the National Disaster Response Force to locate and rescue dogs, cats and other animals left behind during evacuations. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 07:15:00 PM IST

Facebook takes down volunteer-run flood relief page, mistaking for spam

Social media giant Facebook has taken down ‘Kerala Flood Disaster Urgent Help’, a major volunteers-run page that connected Kerala government with rescue calls posted online, apparently mistaking its members of spamming, jeopardizing the rescue efforts. The page consisted of journalists, activists, NGO members, among others, who were helping the government with ground level input. Thousands of stranded people, their family members and friends, have been resorting to Facebook and Twitter, asking for help.“Since last midnight, Facebook has blocked our admins’ access to the page and has restricted posting statuses in text format. This part of the rescue mission is very vital and crucial since most of the calls for help are coming on social media. We have been receiving thousands of help requests and due to this measure by FB, we are unable to take this forward at the desired pace,” the members of the page said in a statement. “We express our utmost anguish over such restrictions during this hour of distress. We demand this ban to be removed and be granted complete access for all the admins of the page invoved in relief work,” said the statement. Nidheesh M.K./Mint

17 Aug 2018, 07:05:00 PM IST

Navy rushes 8 lakh litres of drinking water to Kochi

17 Aug 2018, 06:37:00 PM IST

Flooding continues in Alappuzha

17 Aug 2018, 06:25:00 PM IST

CM Pinarayi Vijayan urges donations for flood relief

17 Aug 2018, 06:15:00 PM IST

Insurers asked to expeditiously settle claims

As rains and floods continued to wreak havoc in Kerala, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has asked all insurance companies to set up special camps and make immediate payments against insurance claims. The insurance regulator has issued guidelines in the regard for both life and non-line insurance claims and asked them to report the progress. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 06:00:00 PM IST

Punjab CM announces Rs 10 crore relief for Kerala

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced immediate relief worth Rs 10 crore for flood-hit Kerala. Rs 5 crore is being transferred to the Kerala CM’s relief fund and the remaining Rs 5 crore will be in the form of ready-to-eat food material and other supplies, reports news agency ANI. HT

17 Aug 2018, 05:50:00 PM IST

Forecasts of more heavy rain over the weekend

The ‘vigorous’ southwest monsoon over rain-battered Kerala will bring in more heavy spells during the weekend in the state, besides Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the regional weather office said today.In its forecast for 18 August, the regional met department said, “heavy to very heavy rain” was likely at isolated places over coastal Karnataka. “Heavy rain is also likely to occur at isolated places over ghat areas of Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Theni, Dindigul and Tirunelveli districts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and south interior Karnataka” tomorrow, it added. There is also forecast of heavy rains at isolated places over North Kerala, coastal Karnataka and its south interior parts on 19 August. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 05:25:00 PM IST

Air India to operate Kochi flights from Thiruvananthapuram

Air India today said its flights scheduled to depart from the Kochi airport, which has been shut down till August 26 due to floods, will operate from Thiruvananthapuram. The airline said the new schedule is for the August 18-20 period. Most private carriers have altogether cancelled their services to the commercial capital of Kerala, which is also the seventh busiest airport in the country, despite the government asking them to divert the flights to Thiruvanathapuram or Kozhikode. However, the low-cost arm of the AI, Air India Express, which is headquartered in Kochi and has almost 40% of its capacity deployed from the closed airport, has not made its operational plans public yet. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 04:55:00 PM IST

Heavy rainfall caused landslides in Kerala’s Kumily

17 Aug 2018, 04:47:00 PM IST

868 dead in 7 states due to rains, floods this season

As many as 868 people have dies, 247 of them in Kerala, due to rains, floods and landslides in seven states during the monsoon season so far, according to a statement from the Home Ministry. In Kerala, 247 people have died and 2.11 lakh people in 14 districts have been badly hit by the rains and floods and over 32,500 hectares of crops damaged, according to the Home Ministry’s National Emergency Response Centre (NERC).As many as 191 people have died in Uttar Pradesh, 183 people in West Bengal, 139 in Maharashtra, 52 in Gujarat, 45 in Assam and 11 in Nagaland. A total of 33 people have also been missing, 28 in Kerala and five in West Bengal, while 274 have been injured in rain-related incidents in the states. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 04:35:00 PM IST

PM Modi to reach Thiruvananthapuram in the evening

PM Narendra Modi will reach Thiruvananthapuram in the evening after the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He will start the aerial survey of flood-affected areas on Saturday morning, reported Hindustan Times. PM Modi in the morning tweeted that he had spoken to Kerala CM and discussed the flood situation across the state.

17 Aug 2018, 04:25:00 PM IST

51 teams deployed, over 4,000 people to safety moved to safety, says NDRF

The NDRF said today it has moved more than 4,000 people to safer places and rescued another 44 from flooded areas in Kerala during the past nine days, even as its personnel struggle to reach remote areas cut off due to landslides, State Disaster Management Authority officials said in Thiruvananthapuram.A National Disaster Response Force spokesperson said in New Delhi that its 51 teams, out of the total 53 deployed, are operating on the ground. Two more teams will reach Kerala soon, he added. “So far, over 4,319 persons have been evacuated and 44 people have been rescued by our teams since their deployment in Kerala. Operations are still going on,” he said. The rescue and evacuations operations by the NDRF entered its ninth day today.The spokesperson said despite heavy rains and unfavourable weather, every effort was being made by NDRF responders to “access and reach” every person in distress. A total of 173 people have died in the state since the second spell of monsoon fury began on August 8. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 04:02:00 PM IST

Indian Navy airlifts pregnant lady

Indian Navy had airlifted a pregnant lady with water bag with a doctor’s assistance earlier in the day. The young lady has delivered a bay boy. Both are doing fine, tweeted a Navy spokesperson.

17 Aug 2018, 03:53:00 PM IST

More than 3000 persons have been rescued by the armed forces so far

17 Aug 2018, 03:15:00 PM IST

Red alert withdrawn from Thiruvananthapuram, Kasaragod

Red alert has been withdrawn from two districts -- Thiruvananthapuram and north Kerala’s Kasaragod. Only 12 out of 14 districts are on red alert now with many towns like Chalakudy and Pandalam flooded. Hindustan Times

17 Aug 2018, 02:53:00 PM IST

Kerala floods: Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL provide free services

As Kerala faces massive floods, various telecom operators are providing free services, including mobile phone calls and mobile data. Reliance Jio and BSNL have announced that they will not charge any of their customers in Kerala for making phone calls. Others have extended bill payment dates and even allowed customers to make free calls from their stores. Read more

17 Aug 2018, 02:37:00 PM IST

Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and NDRF to provide additional assistance

The NCMC meeting, chaired by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, 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 the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to provide the required assistance to Kerala, a spokesperson said.The 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 last two days in rescue operations. It will airdrop 1,600 food packets today. The 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. The Army pressed into service 10 columns, 10 Engineering Task Forces (ETFs), 60 boats and 100 life jackets. The NDRF has mobilised 43 rescue teams and 163 boats along with other equipment.The NCMC directed these organisations to provide boats, helicopters, life jackets, life buoys, raincoats, gumboots, inflatable tower lights etc. The Kerala chief secretary requested for motorised boats to reach people marooned in flood-affected areas. The cabinet secretary directed these organisations to mobilise additional boats and equipment, including from CAPFs such as CRPF, BSF and SSB. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 02:30:00 PM IST

NCMC to mobilise more resources, railways to provide 2.9 lakh litres of drinking water

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met for the second time in two days today and directed to mobilise additional resources to all agencies who were engaged in rescue and relief operations in flood-hit Kerala. So far, the central government has mobilised deployment of 339 motorised boats, 2,800 life jackets, 1,400 life buoys, 27 light towers and 1,000 raincoats, an official spokesperson said here.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.The railways has provided 120,000 water bottles. Another 120,000 bottles are ready to be despatched. It is also running a special train carrying 2.9 lakh litres of drinking water that will reach Kayamkulam tomorrow. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 02:05:00 PM IST

District rescue helpline numbers for Kerala floods

17 Aug 2018, 01:55:00 PM IST

SC asks Kerala to submit report on disaster management, rehabilitation measures

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked Kerala and Tamil Nadu to abide by the directions given by NCMC on the rehabilitation of displaced people and the reduction of water level from the existing 142 feet to 139 feet at the dam. The bench observed that it was not an expert to deal with such severe natural calamity and was leaving to the executive to contain the crisis.The top court asked Kerala to submit the report on the steps taken on disaster management and rehabilitation measures. The death toll in the monsoon fury in the southern state has crossed 167, while rains and flood water have caused extensive damage. Rise in flood waters in Periyar River due to the rains and opening of the shutters of all major dams including Mullaperiyar, Cheruthoni, part of Idukki reservoir and Idamalayar, have severely affected the lives of people in downstream areas. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 01:35:00 PM IST

1 lakh food packets to be airdropped: Kerala CM

Bengaluru: As some parts affected by floods in Kerala remain unreachable even by rescue boats, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said one lakh food packets will be air-dropped to people who are stranded. He also spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday morning.In places such as Chengannur (in Alappuzha district), even rescue boats are unable to reach certain corners, only helicopters can go there, he said in a press meet after an emergency meeting on Friday, broadcasted live through his Facebook page.He added that 22 Air force helicopters, 16 Army teams, 42 Navy teams, 3 Navy helicopters, 28 coast-guard teams, 2 coast guard helicopters, 39 NDRF teams are pressed into service now, and 14 more NDRF teams will reach soon. NDRF has rescued 4000 people and 550 people were rescued by Navy, he said.The weather office has informed that in Idukki and Wayanad districts, rains would come down, but the waters in river Periyar and Chalakkudy have not come down, he said. “The district administrations are giving updates in each four hours, in the evening, there will be another meeting. An officer has been put in charge of each region, thousands are still stranded, district administrations are taking that number, we have made measures to rescue a good number of those people by Friday,” he said. All districts are declared flood-hit in Kerala. On Kochi airport, which is shut until 26 August, the airport will take its time to recover since it is heavily inundated, said Vijayan. Nidheesh M.K./Mint

17 Aug 2018, 01:15:00 PM IST

Heavy rain, gusty winds in various parts of the state today

A weather report at 7am has predicted heavy rain accompanied by gusty winds in various parts of the state today. Winds at the speed of 60 kmph is expected in Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts, the report said.Desperate non-resident Keralites from Australia, the US and the UK were making fervent pleas to authorities through television channels seeking help for their dear ones. Soumya from Australia said her parents and their relatives were stranded in Aluva for the past two days. Another person said an elderly relative, Mary Varghese, was badly in need of oxygen cylinder and her condition was worsening. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 01:02:00 PM IST

Ensure that water level in Mullaperiyar Dam stays below 139 feet: SC

The Supreme Court has asked the National Crisis Management Committee and Kerala’s sub-committee to explore options to reduce Mullaperiyar Dam water level to 139 feet. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justice Indu Malhotra took a serious note of the grim flood situation in Kerala and asked the sub-committee to hold an urgent meeting on Friday morning with the centre’s National Crisis Management Committee (NCMS) and the chief secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

17 Aug 2018, 12:50:00 PM IST

12 additional NDRF teams comprising about 540 personnel also rushed to Kerala

On instructions from the Prime Minister, the Defence Ministry has rushed in fresh teams of the three armed forces for relief and rescue operations in the state. Twelve additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force comprising about 540 personnel were also rushed to Kerala. The operations at the Kochi International Airport will remain suspended till August 26, with runways being flooded.Over 25 trains were either cancelled or rescheduled in Kerala. Kochi Metro operations have not been affected so far, sources said. With waters flooding the private Aster Medi City in Kochi, some patients were shifted to other hospitals. The state government also decided to raise excise duty on Indian Made Foreign Liquor till November 30 to mop up additional resources for relief and rehabilitation efforts, official sources said. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 12:35:00 PM IST

Death toll rises to 173, rescue operations underway

The Kerala floods death toll for Thursday, initially put at 30, has now been revised to 106, taking the overall fatalities to 173 since the second spell of monsoon fury unleashed itself on August 8, reported PTI, citing sources in the State Disaster Management Authority.“In one of the worst rain and flood disasters to hit Kerala, 106 people lost their lives on a single day yesterday,” a source in the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority said. Many elderly persons and women with young children were rescued since this morning. Local fishermen have also joined the rescue mission bringing in their boats to help in evacuation of the stranded people in various places in Aluva, Kalady, Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha and Chalakudy. PTI

17 Aug 2018, 12:23:00 PM IST

Red alert has been issued in all 13 districts except Kasaragod today

17 Aug 2018, 12:15:00 PM IST

IMD predicted heavy to very heavy rains over Kerala next three days

In its 16 August forecast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted heavy to very heavy rains over Kerala for next three days, and has directed authorities to remain on alert. Except Trishur, Kannur and Kasargod districts, which have recorded normal rainfall, all other districts are witnessing excess rains. Idukki has recorded highest rainfall, in excess of 70%, while Kerala overall has recorded 37% excess rain so far this monsoon season.

17 Aug 2018, 12:03:00 PM IST

About 100 tourists stuck, but safe, in Munnar

Around 100 tourists, mostly foreigners, are stuck in Kerala’s tourist hotspot Munnar, as the hill station remains cut off from the rest owing to floods, as per a tourism department official, requesting anonymity, who were contacted by them on Thursday. They are safe, he said. They were informed by the locals about the flood situation and the damaged roads, making travel impossible in Munnar, so they agreed to stay back, he said. The tourists are currently taken care of by Munnar Destination Makers, a provincial group of hotels and resorts, and have enough food supplies to last for a few more days, he said. In case of any emergency, they are asked to contact Idukki administration, he said. Nidheesh M.K./Mint

17 Aug 2018, 11:57:00 AM IST

PM Narendra Modi to visit Kerala this evening

The prime minister said he has spoken to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan this morning and discussed the flood situation across the state.

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