OTHERS : Kerala has been battered by the worst floods this year, with different parts of the state remaining marooned and supply of essential items, including oxygen supplies in hospitals, cut off. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, after a review of the situation, announced financial assistance of Rs 500 crores to the state. More than 1 million people, slightly less than 5% of Kerala’s 33 million population, are feared displaced, raising concerns that the enormity of the tragedy may be more than what is known yet. The floods in August alone have claimed 164 lives but the toll since the arrival of monsoon rains in May stands at 324. More than 10,000 kilometers of national and state highways and a substantially larger part of panchayat roads are damaged while train services remained disrupted and the international airport at Kochi shut down till 26 August. Here are the latest updates and developments in the Kerala flood situation:
451 people rescued from Chalakudy, Chengannur
Air relief and rescue effort of Indian Air Force continued in the flood-affected areas of Kerala, with a focus on the critical areas of Chalakudy and Chengannur. So far, 451 civilians have been rescued by Mi-17 & ALH helicopters and 17 tonnes of food packets air dropped, ANI reported.
67 helicopters,24 aircraft,548 motorboats pressed into rescue operation
67 helicopters,24 aircraft,548 motorboats and thousands of rescue personnel from Navy, Army, Air Force, NDRF, Coast Guard,other CAPFs pressed into service to evacuate people from submerged areas to relief camps and distribute relief materials, National Crisis Management Committee said, according to ANI.
3,00,000 food packets, 6,00,000 MT of milk, 14,00,000 litres of drinking water made available
So far, various central ministries have made 3,00,000 food packets, 6,00,000 MT of milk, 14,00,000 litres of drinking water, 150 potable water purification kits with capacity of 1,00,000 litre each available for Kerala, according to the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), reports ANI.
Commercial aircraft to operate from Kochi naval air strip
The government said Kochi naval air strip to be made available for commercial aircraft from Monday.
Chhattisgarh to send train full of rice worth Rs 7.5 cr
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said a train full of rice worth around Rs 7.5 crore will leave for Kerala on Sunday. Besides, Rs 3 crore will be provided in cash.
Air India pilots offer to fly payments without payment
Air India pilots of the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) operating Airbus 320 & Boeing 787, have committed to fly planes without payment to support Operation Madad & Operation Sahyog in Kerala. The pilots have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to ANI.
300 people rescued from Chengannur
More than 300 people were rescued in Chengannur, Kerala Minister G Sudhakaran said. He appealed to engineers to help the state construct makeshift bridges to enable rescue operations in forest areas, according to ANI report.
Over 300,000 people take shelter in relief camps
More than 300,000 people have taken shelter in over 1,500 state-run relief camps, officials said. Authorities and local media outlets said they were being inundated with calls for assistance, AP reported. “We are receiving multiple repetitive rescue requests,” the office of the state’s top official, Pinarayi Vijayan, said in a Friday tweet, asking those in need to provide their exact location and nearby landmarks so rescuers can find them.
Train with 14.5 lakh litres of drinking water to reach Kerala by Sunday
A 29-wagon train carrying 14.5 lakh litres of drinking water left from Pune around 5pm. It is expected to reach Kayankulam junction in Kerala within 24-28 hours, HT reported.
When Land slides
A landslide site at Upputhode, Idukki district, where four people went missing, sent by local resident Pramod Kumar
Navy conducts rescue operations in Thrissur, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta
Air rescue carried out at various places of the three badly affected districts of Thrissur, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta in Kerala. Various aircraft, including ALH, Sea King, Chetak and MI17 (of IAF) rescued more than 154 people till now, reports ANI. Rescue teams were also augmented by Gemini boats, divers and other resources from both Eastern and Western Naval Commands of the India Navy. Seventy two diving teams deployed across multiple locations in Kerala.
Govt to provide medicines for post-flood prevention of diseases
Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda said the government was monitoring #KeralaFloods situation on a continuous basis, and was coordinating with the state government to provide medicines for post-flood prevention of vector borne diseases, according to ANI
Karnataka deploys 3 buses to pick up over 150 people stranded in Thrissur
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation deployed three Airavat club class buses to pick more than 150 people stranded in Kerala’s Thrissur, from Palghat to Mangalore, free of cost.
Railways to transport relief material for free
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the government was concerned about well being of people affected by the floods, and was committed to providing all possible help. Railways will now provide free transportation of relief material for Kerala through various state government agencies.
Nitish Kumar extends aid of Rs 10 crore
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar extended a financial aid of Rs 10 crore for Kerala. Kumar said that he was deeply distressed and saddened by the tragic loss of lives and large scale damage to properties caused by the incessant rains.
Madhya Pradesh to release Rs 10 crore
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the release of Rs 10 crore as assistance for flood-hit Kerala
Congress MPs, MLAs to donate a month’s salary
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said all MPs, MLAs and MLCs to donate a month’s salary for flood relief in Kerala. A special relief committee will also be constituted to send essential items to Kerala
NDRF teams rescued 194, evacuated 10,467 people
NDRF teams have rescued 194 persons&12 livestock&evacuated 10,467 persons &provided pre-hospital treatment to 159 persons.15 teams operational in Thrissur,13 in Pathanamthitta,11 in Alappuzha,5 in Ernakulam, 4 in Idukki,3 in Malappuram & 2 each in Wayanad&Kozhikode. #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/znmOqwLeg3— ANI (@ANI) August 18, 2018
DGCA is constantly monitoring airfares on 32 direct routes
Union minister Suresh Prabhu announced that airlines are advised to cap maximum fare around Rs 10,000 and Rs 8,000 on longer and shorter routes, respectively, on all routes to/from Kerala, and nearby airports. DGCA is constantly monitoring airfares on 32 direct routes operating to/from Trivandrum, Calicut, Coimbatore and Mangalore. PIB
Red alert issued for today in 11 districts
Red Alert issued for today in 11 districts. Heavy rainfall predicted for the day in all districts except Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam & Kasaragod. pic.twitter.com/A7Q0V81itX— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 18, 2018
Indian Coast Guard capital ship enters harbour to join rescue efforts
#KeralaFloods2018 #OPRAHAT #IndianCoastGuard capital ship enters harbour to join @IndiaCoastGuard Rescue & Relief efforts @DefenceMinIndia @CMOKerala @DG_PIB @SpokespersonMoD this morning. pic.twitter.com/UW5UBAa5SV— Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) August 18, 2018
Hanan, who was trolled for selling fish, donates Rs 1.5 lakh to relief fund
Hanan, a 21-year-old college student, who was viciously trolled for selling fish to meet her educational needs, has contributed Rs 1.5 lakh towards the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund. Hanan, a college student from Kochi, said the money was donated by various people after her struggle to fund her studies and take care of her family was widely shared on the social media. “I had got the amount from people and I am happy to give back the amount to the needy,” she said. Hanan, who also worked as an anchor and flower girl for programmes to make ends meet, requested people to donate for the relief works.Sajeesh, a government employee and husband of nurse Lini Puthussery, who died of Nipah after she contracted the deadly virus from a patient, donated his first salary of Rs 25,000 to the relief fund. The Kerala government had given Sajeesh a job in the health sector in recognition of Lini’s selfless service.Sixty eight-year-old Rohini from Thalassery in Kannur district, who draws a monthly pension of Rs 600 and has no other source of income, contributed Rs 1,000 online to the relief fund. Social media groups, students, actors and NGOs are among those who have made contributions to the relief fund. PTI
Kerala Opposition wants to give Army full control, govt opposes
The Opposition and Kerala government are at spar over grant of control to the Army. While the Opposition wants full control to the Army, the state is not in agreement with the demand. A lack of coordination has hampered food distribution in the state resulting in starving citizens. Hindustan Times
Gujarat, Maharashtra announces aid to Kerala
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced Rs 10 crores from the CM Relief Fund for flood-hit Kerala. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis also announced Rs20 crore as immediate assistance from Maharashtra Government. ANI
Defence minister gives details of resources deployed for relief work
#KeralaFloods2018— PIB India (@PIB_India) August 18, 2018
Defence Minister @nsitharaman gave a detailed account of material and equipment crucial for rescue and relief operations in #Kerala #IndianArmedForces continue to work tirelessly in the relief operation. pic.twitter.com/0we12gu6l6
Woman refuses flood rescue unless her 25 dogs go too
A woman refused to leave her flooded house in India’s Kerala state without her 25 dogs, a rescuer said Saturday, as the death toll continued to rise. The dogs were found cowering on beds in the flooded house with water rising when an animal welfare group arrived for a last-gasp rescue, said Sally Varma of Humane Society International.The woman, who uses only one name Sunitha, was found by rescuers in Thrissur, one of the districts worst hit by floods in Kerala that have left at least 324 dead. But she refused to leave her house unless her dogs, all strays or abandoned pets, were taken too, Varma told AFP. “She sent back volunteers and rescue officials because they said they could not evacuate her dogs. She was just not willing to leave her dogs behind. She then managed to get in touch with us,” Varma added.“When the rescue team reached her house, it was completely flooded and the dogs were huddled on beds.” Sunitha, her husband and the dogs are now staying at a special shelter as the relief camps set up for the disaster refused animals. Varma said she has started a fundraiser for Sunitha and her pets so a kennel could be built at her home after the floods recede. AFP
Tamil Nadu announce more aid to Kerala
Tamil Nadu chief minister K. Palaniswami today announced relief materials including rice, milk and Rs 5 crore more for relief operations in the flood ravaged Kerala. Palaniswami said essential medicines and teams comprising medical and veterinary doctors will be immediately dispatched to the neighbouring state. As regards relief materials, 500 tonne rice, 300 tonnes of milk powder and 15,000 litres of Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processed milk, 10,000 blankets besides dhoties and lungies (coloured dhoties) will be immediately sent to Kerala, he said. “Also, relief materials worth crores received from Tamil Nadu people have already been sent to Kerala through authorities in districts and this work will continue,” Palaniswami said in an official release here.To coordinate relief-related tasks to help Kerala, two senior IAS officials have been assigned to work under Commissioner for Revenue Administration, K Sathyagopal, the Chief Minister noted. xpressing anguish over the loss of lives, Palaniswami conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.
Air India mulls operation from Kochi’s naval base
Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, will operate a ‘proving flight’ to Kochi’s naval base today to study the safety aspects of operating ATR-type aircraft from there, a spokesperson of the national carrier said. Air India is trying to find a way to fly in and out of Kochi where the airport has been closed down till 26 August leaving thousands of passengers stranded, the spokesperson said. The ‘proving flight’ will have a team of officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and other flight safety officials, the spokesperson said.“If found safe, Alliance Air plans to mount (operate) more flights to Kochi’s defence airbase and also pave the way for other airlines with ATR/turboprops (to operate flights from there),” he said.ATRs are usually 70-seater smaller aircraft that can land even in shorter runway span. Air India and its low-cost arm Air India Express had yesterday said their flights scheduled to depart from the Kochi airport will operate from Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode till the Kochi airport is made functional.
AAP MPs, MLAs, ministers to donate 1-month salary for the Kerala relief work
All MPs, MLAs and ministers of Aam Aadmi Party will donate one-month salary for the relief work in flood-affected Kerala. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced Rs 10 crore relief for Kerala from the government. Kejriwal appealed to the public to make donations to the crisis-hit state. The Delhi chief minister also spoke to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan.
IAF helicopters evacuating the stranded people in Kerala
Heavy rains will continue for 2 days in Kerala: IMD
The intensity of rainfall has decreased now, so there won’t be extremely heavy rains anymore in Kerala, S. Devi of India Meteorological Department told ANI, adding that heavy rains will continue for 2 days. In August, till 16th actual rainfall was 619.5mm, higher than the normal 244.1 mm, she noted.
Mamata Banerjee expresses solidarity
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee expressed solidarity with the flood-affected people of Kerala. “Words alone are not enough. Yet I must tell all my brothers and sisters of Kerala that our thoughts and prayers are with each one of you....” the CM said on her official twitter handle. “”....Condolences to those families who have lost their loved ones. Strength to those who are fighting the #KeralaFloods,” she further tweeted.
Death toll rises to 194, over 300,000 moved to relief camp
As per an official data, since 8 August, at least 194 persons have lost their lives so far and 36 are missing in the Kerala flood. Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps. PTI
Important Helpline numbers for rescue operations
Govt directs insurers to settle claims at the earliest
The government on Saturday directed speedy settlement of claims under its life insurance, general insurance and crop insurance schemes in flood-hit Kerala. State-run insurance companies have also set up helplines to help in speedier settlement of claims. Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar wrote on micro blogging site Twitter that claims under the “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana” will be “settled on immediate basis through on account basis” to alleviate farmers’ pain. Read more
Haryana announces Rs 10 crore aid
Rahul Gandhi urges PM to declare Kerala floods a national disaster
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday had urged party cadre in flood-hit Kerala to mobilise resources for helping the people of the state, while displaying the core Congress values of service and love.
Dear PM,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 18, 2018
Please declare #Kerala floods a National Disaster without any delay. The lives, livelihood and future of millions of our people is at stake.
Central govt will provide all possible assistance to Kerala: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Central government ensures that the benefits under various social security schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and MGNREGA reach to the flood-affected of Kerala on priority basis. “Centre is providing all possible assistance to Kerala. This includes financial assistance, providing food grains and medicines. We have asked the NHAI, NTPC, PGCIL to render all possible assistance and cater to basic infrastructure needs in the wake of the floods,” tweeted Modi.
I salute the people of Kerala for their fighting spirit. I compliment the authorities for their efforts in this adverse situation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 18, 2018
I would also like to appreciate the wide support and solidarity from people across India towards Kerala during this unprecedented situation.
Gulf countries comes out to help flood-hit Kerala
At the hour of crisis, Gulf countries have united to help flood-hit Keralites. Kerala forms a major core of the labour force in West Asian countries, thanks to a more than 50-year old migration history, one of the oldest and longest migration pattern in India.Sharjah ruler Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi has donated Rs 4 crore to help Kerala on Saturday. United Arab Emirates have also promised a significant help, as per a senior state government official, requesting anonymity. Hundreds of Malayalee associations in the Gulf countries, from church prayer groups to arts and cultural outfits, have also united to raise funds. Easily Rs 100 crore is expected, said the official.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,” UAE president Shiekh Muhammad said on Twitter on Friday night.The News Minute reported that President of UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the formation of an emergency committee, headed by Sheikh Mohammed, to look into providing relief assistance to people affected by floods in Kerala.About 10% of Kerala’s population of over 30 million does not live in the state. Every third house in Kerala has a man working in the Gulf, which could mean Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman or Bahrain. Every year, they send home more than Rs 1 trillion, according to data from banks in the state. In other words, their remittances form almost a third of Kerala’s net state domestic product of about Rs 3 trillion, according to the state’s latest economic review. Nidheesh MK/Mint
UN chief express sadness over Kerala flood situation
UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed sadness over the flooding and extensive damage and displacement caused in rain-battered Kerala. “Our humanitarian colleagues as well as the country team in India have been following the recent floods very closely. The United Nations is of course saddened by the loss of life, destruction and displacement caused by floods in India,” Stephane Dujarric, the UN secretary-general’s spokesperson, told reporters on Friday.When asked if the UN was asked for help in India in the Kerala floods, he said the world body has not received any direct request from the Indian Government for aid. “As you know, India has quite a well-operated machinery to deal with natural disasters but of course our country team — I was in touch with our Resident Coordinator today — they’re following closely and they’re in touch with partners on the ground,” he said. PTI
Flood-affected villagers to get houses on priority
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that villagers whose ‘kuccha houses’ have been destroyed in the floods will be provided houses on priority under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin irrespective of the permanent wait list.
PM Modi assesses damages caused by floods, assures support to Kerala
PM @narendramodi in an aerial survey, assessing the damages caused by floods in some of the affected areas of Kerala. The Prime Minister assures his support to the State Government in all its endeavours to meet the challenges of the unprecedented situation. #Keralafloods pic.twitter.com/SJj36FmG5D— PIB India (@PIB_India) August 18, 2018
Odisha urges Kerala to assist stranded Odia labourers
In the wake of a distress call by some Odia people in flood-hit Kerala, the Odisha government has requested the southern state to provide assistance to 130 labourers from the state in Odapally, reported PTI, citing official sources. The Odisha government’s request followed an alert from one Anil Sethi who informed that about 130 labourers from Odisha, who have taken shelter in a house at Aluva Munnar Road, Odapally, near Asha Munnar Post Office, were not able to get food and drinking water.“I would, therefore, request you to kindly make necessary arrangement for providing support in terms of food, drinking water and other necessities to the flood affected people from Odisha.” the state’s Special Relief Commissioner B. P. Sethi said in a letter to P. H. Kurian, additional chief secretary, disaster management, Kerala, on Friday.The Odisha government also set up helplines in the special relief commissioner’s office here to help the people in distress. Any person from Odisha who has been affected may call up through the helpline numbers 1070 (toll free) and 0674-2534177, an official release said.When contacted over phone, Anil Sethi told PTI, “We are virtually starving and even not in possession of a drop of water to drink. Therefore, we appeal both the governments of Odisha and Kerala to make arrangement for our survival.”The Odisha government has already announced a financial assistance of Rs five crore for flood-ravaged Kerala. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also talked to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan over phone about the situation. Patnaik also offered other kind of support required to tackle the calamity, as Odisha has expertise in dealing with disasters like flood and cyclone. PTI
Kerala suffered a loss of ₹19,512 crore as per initial assessment, CM Vijayan tells Modi
CM Pinarayi Vijayan informed Prime Minister in a meeting today that the state has suffered a loss of Rs 19,515 crore as per initial assessment. The prime minister has announced an interim relief fund of Rs 500 crore to the flood-hit state. CM Vijayan tweeted that the state has requested an immediate assistance of Rs 200 crore.
In a meeting convened to assess the flood situation in the State, CM Pinarayi Vijayan informed Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the State has suffered a loss of ₹19,512 crore as per initial assessment. #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/f6SSmzjfj7— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 18, 2018
Kerala asks for more helicopters as airlifting only option in remote areas
Since airlifting is the only option in some remote areas, where people are marooned since the past four days, the state government has sought more helicopters for airlifting them, chief minister said. Chengannur MLA Saji Cherian pleaded for more help and said thousands of people were stranded in houses without food and water, if immediate steps are not taken to evacuate them, their life will be in danger.“For the past five days people are without food in many places. We urgently need food, medicines, water. People need to be airlifted urgently. Evacuation by Army, Navy and Air Force are urgently needed,” Cherian told a television channel this morning.Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the government machinery has to be properly coordinated to ensure all the needy get help.As per information from the control room of the State Disaster Management, since 8 August, 194 persons have lost their lives so far and 36 are missing. Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps. The maximum deaths have been reported from Thrissur (42), Idukki (37) and Malappuram (35). PTI
PM Modi conducts an aerial survey of flood affected areas
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of flood affected areas in Kerala after announcing an interim relief fund of Rs 500 core. Moreover, Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured from the prime minister’s National Relief Funds, reported ANI.
#WATCH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducts an aerial survey of flood affected areas. PM has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the deceased and Rs.50,000 to those seriously injured, from PM's National Relief Funds (PMNRF). #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/T6FYNVLmMu— ANI (@ANI) August 18, 2018
Downpour continues in several parts of Kerala
Rains have been lashing several parts of the state since this morning is causing concern as it could hamper the rescue and relief operations. Chengannur in Pathnamthitta, Chalakudy in Thrissur and various parts of Ernakulam district are among the worst hit where rescue efforts are likely to be concentrated today. According to the latest weather report, heavy rains accompanied with gusty wind speed reaching 60 kmph is expected in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki and Ernakulam districts. The state is facing its worst flood in 100 years with 80 dams opened and all rivers in state. PTI
PM Modi announces interim relief of Rs 500 crore
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a relief fund of Rs 500 crore to the flood-hit Kerala. The prime minister arrived in Kochi today morning and held a meeting with CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister KJ Alphons and other officials. PM Modi was expected to take an aerial survey of the flood-affected Kochi areas, but the event was suspended due to heavy rains. Hindustan Times
Kerala is part of our success story in the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed of UAE
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 pic.twitter.com/ZGom5A6WRy— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) August 17, 2018
Kerala need more help from the Center and other states: Congress leader PC Chacko
Kerala need more help from the Center and other states, Congress leader PC Chacko told ANI. “Thousands and thousands are marooned and facing a very severe, critical situation, and more emergency evacuation operation is needed. What is being done is appreciable but we need more help from the Centre and other states. Kerala is in distress,” Chacko said to ANI.
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