Kerala, Aug 12: The death toll, following unprecedented rains in Kerala, climbed to 37 on Saturday evening. With the state facing incessant rain havoc, a total of eight districts — Idukki, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Ernakulam — have been put on high alert. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that heavy to very heavy rains are expected in most places in the next two days.
The rains have left nearly 54,000 people homeless and 31,000 in relief camps. More than 500 relief camps have been set up and over 15,600 people have been evacuated from the affected areas. 14 teams of NDRF have been set up and deployed in various parts to carry out the rescue work. “Besides the NDRF, adequate columns of Army, Navy and Coast Guard, Helicopters of Indian Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard are deployed…for assisting the state administration in lifting and dropping of essential commodities,” a statement said.
By the Saturday evening, however, thousands living around the Idukki dam and in Ernakulam and Thrissur heaved a sigh of relief as the heavy rains predicted in Kerala did not pour and as a result, the Idukki dam waters ravaging the area subsided.
“The rains have slowed down in and around the Idukki dam since last night and hence the water level in the dam has also come down. So far things are fine and everything is going as planned. The water that came down the five floodgates, barring at Cheruthoni, has not caused any major crisis,” State Power Minister M.M. Mani was quoted as saying by IANS.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will conduct an aerial survey of flood-affected areas in Kerala on Sunday. Rajnath Singh will be accompanied by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism K. J. Alphons and other senior officers from the Ministry. The Union Minister is expected to review the search, rescue and relief measures that have been taken by the state government over the last few days.
Earlier on Saturday, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas in Kerala along with the leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala. Vijayan also met the people affected due to flood in Wayanad and announced ex-gratia Rs 4 Lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased. He also announced Rs 10 Lakh compensation to those who lost their houses and land, news agency ANI reported.