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Death toll in rains touches 147; hundreds of thousands put in relief camps

Heavy rain and landslides forced hundreds of thousands of people to take shelter in relief camps, while train services were cancelled in several flood-hit areas

Reuters  |  New Delhi/Bengaluru 

Malappuram: Rescue operation underway at an area affected by landslide due to heavy rain, in Malappuram district, Saturday, August 10, 2019. Photo: PTI
Malappuram: Rescue operation underway at an area affected by landslide due to heavy rain, in Malappuram district, Saturday, August 10, 2019. Photo: PTI

The from floods in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra rose to 147, state authorities said on Sunday, as rescue teams raced to evacuate people and water-submerged parts of a world heritage site.

Heavy rain and landslides forced hundreds of thousands of people to take shelter in relief camps, while train services were cancelled in several flood-hit areas.

In the southern state of Kerala, at least 57 people were killed in rain-related incidents while over 165,000 people were in relief camps in the state, state authorities said on Sunday.

"Several houses are still covered under 10-12 feet deep mud. This is hampering rescue work," state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Authorities worried that rescue operations would be hit by thunderstorms and rainfall predicted in some parts of Kerala.

Last year, more than 200 people were killed in Kerala and over five million affected in one of worst floods in 100 years in the state.

In Karnataka, several structures at world heritage site Hampi were flooded.

So far 60 people have died in rain-related incidents, said state chief minister B S Yediyurappa, adding nearly 227,000 people were staying in relief camps.

While Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra have been the worst hit this year, several other states including Gujarat, Assam and Bihar have also seen heavy damages due to floods.

In Maharashtra, where the stood at 30, the flood situation was improving, according to state-run All India Radio, though authorities said it would be difficult to restore rail services in some flood-hit areas within the next two weeks.

The Congress party called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide relief packages.

Citing media reports, the party said so far this year 446 people have been killed in six flood-hit states including Assam, Bihar and Gujarat.

"Despite the mammoth loss of lives and displacement caused due to floods, the government is failing to realize the gravity of the flood fury," the Congress party said in a statement on Sunday.

First Published: Sun, August 11 2019. 19:14 IST
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