85 Dead so far as Floods Wreak Havoc in Southern, Western States

Thiruvanathapuram/Ahmedabad: Kerala and Karnataka were facing a grim situation Saturday due to floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains that have left 54 people dead in the last couple of days and disrupted normal life, while 19 people lost their lives in Gujarat since Friday evening in rain-related incidents.

Rescue operations were also underway in deluge-hit parts of Maharashtra, where 12 people have died, to move stranded people to safer locations.

Nearly 1.25 lakh people have been displaced in Kerala including nearly 25,000 each in worst-hit Wayanad and Kozhikode. Forty-two people died in rain-related incidents with 80 landslides in eight districts of Kerala since August 8, officials said.

Many people are still feared trapped under debris following major landslides in Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Meppadi in Wayanad.

A red alert for rainfall has been issued in eight districts of Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod.

One of the four shutters of the Banasurasagar dam, located about 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad, one of the worst affected districts, was opened at 3 pm to discharge excess water and people on the banks of the Kabini river have been asked to be cautious.

Banasurasagar, one of the largest earth dams in India and the second largest of its kind in Asia, impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River.

Across the state, 1,24,464 people have been shifted to 1,111 relief camps, including 25,0028 in Kozhikode and 24,990 in Wayanad, the officials said.

As rescue operations were on in Kavalappara, another landslide occurred in the region on Saturday due to which search operations have been halted.

The continuous rains have triggered multiple landslides and overflowing rivers have caused flooding in several parts of Malappuram, Kannur, Idukki, Palakkad, Chalakudy in Thrissur and Kasaragod districts.

Several trains have been cancelled and flight operations from the Kochi international airport, which had been suspended following inundation, will resume at noon on Sunday, an airport official said.

In Karnataka, 12 people have died so far in rain-related incidents in the state.

Besides Belagavi, the affected districts are Bagaklote, Vijayapura, Raichur, Yadgir, Gadag, Uttara Kannada, Haveri, Hubballi-Dharwad, Dakshina Kannada, Chikkamagaluru, and Kodagu.

The backwaters of Tungabhadra flooded parts of Davangere district blocking many roads.

Landslides were reported near Maranahalli in Sakaleshpur, said official sources.

The entire Pane Mangaluru village in Dakshina Kannada district was inundated by the swollen Netravati river, they said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa asked people of the state not to worry as relief measures were his government’s top priority.

The flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli districts in western Maharashtra showed signs of improvement as water started to recede from inundated areas, officials said.

Three more bodies were recovered in the boat capsize incident that took place Thursday near Brahmanal village in Palus tehsil of Sangli district during the flood rescue operations.

Nine persons had drowned and as many others had gone missing in the incident.

With the recovery of three more bodies, the death toll in the incident has gone up to 12.

A total of 26 Navy teams with 110 personnel and 26 boats have been deployed in Kolhapur and Sangli districts. They will continue to remain stationed in the area till the flood situation improves, a defence statement said.

Additional 15 teams of the Navy from Visakhapatnam will reach Kolhapur by Saturday afternoon to assist in the rescue operation, a defence spokesperson said.

At present, there are 14 Navy teams in Kolhapur district and 12 in Sangli helping the state administration in evacuating the flood-hit areas, the official said.


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