Kerala is witnessing the worst flood in over 100 years with incessant rains over the last 10 days claiming over 300 lives and leaving over three lakh homeless. However, as a welcome relief for the people of the flood-ravaged state, the weather department has withdrawn red alert for all districts for today and orange alert has been issued for 10 districts and yellow alert for two.
Still, the situation continues to remain grave for three districts — Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Ernakulam — for Sunday as heavy rains have been predicted for these districts till August 20.
As rescue and relief operations continue in full swing, the Kerala government faces a difficult task in the coming weeks as several areas are reeling under food and power shortage and thousands of people are still awaiting evacuation.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of some of the flood-affected areas of the state and announced an immediate aid of Rs 500 crore. However, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had demanded Rs 2,000 crore as emergency assistance and said as per the initial assessment, the total loss was pegged at Rs 19,512 crore.
12:40 pm: President Ram Nath Kovind spoke to Kerala Governor and chief minister and inquired about the flood situation.
12:09 pm: A government school in Chengannur has been converted to a relief camp. 115 people have taken shelter at the camp.
11:51 am: Veterinary Hospital converted to a relief shelter in Idukki district’s Vandiperiyar. A total of 35 people are staying at the shelter.
11:10 am: Indian Air Force has deployed multiple fixed wing aircraft to facilitate swift movement of security personnel and rescue material.
10:50 am: Infants and old people have been rescued by the Indian Army under Operation Madad. Rescue operations were carried out in 8 to 10 feet deep water.
10:42 am: People from Mumbai gathered essential commodities to be sent to flood victims.
10:40 am: At 10 am today, the water level in the Idukki reservoir was 2402.28 feet; water flow into Periyar river is 913 cusecs per hour. Two shutters have been closed.
10:32 am: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has restored all its services to Kerala’s Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palghat, Kozhikode, Kannur and Trivandrum. The first service will start at 4 pm to Trivandrum from Bengaluru. However, services to Kasaragod have not restored.
10:27 am: RAF team recovered one body from Nemmara landslide area in Palakkad district early morning. Deputy Commandant RAF Coimbatore unit said, “We have recovered total 10 bodies from the area. Landslides are still occurring in the area, it was a tough task to recover the bodies”.
10:24 am: Red alert withdrawn for all districts of Kerala. Orange alert issued for 10 districts, yellow alert for 2 districts. Rescue operations underway across the state, news agency ANI reported.
09:54 am: The IAS Officers Association of Andhra Pradesh to contribute one day salary of its members for Kerala floods fund.
08:44 am: “We started a helpline on August 16. We have 3 rescue numbers,” says Anbodu Kochi member Girish S Pradeep.
Another member Saratha says, “We are closely associated with District Collector’s team. We take requirements of callers & cater the same to respected departments.”
‘Anbodu Kochi’, a team of volunteers, has established collection centres to collect relief materials for Kerala flood victims. The team has also started a call centre to help victims; around 40 people are on mobile and laptops to receive calls and communicate callers’ needs to the department concerned.
08:37 am: Rescue work underway at Thiruvilla, one of the worst affected places. The task force worked non-stop for 15 hours in heavy rains to evacuate 250 persons, out of whom several were sick and homeless.
07:56 am: Relief materials being loaded on board Naval Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Chetak helicopter and Naval Sea King helicopter at Naval Air Station INS Garuda in Kochi.
07:08 am: Kochi Naval Base to be thrown open for commercial flight operations from the morning of August 20.
06:59 am: Medical officer and relief materials including medicines, sanitary napkins and baby diapers being rushed to the disaster relief camps of flood-hit districts.