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Monsoon fury in Kerala, Karnataka; death toll rises to 158 in 2 states

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram/ Bengaluru/Mumbai 

Torrential rains lashed many parts of the country and the situation remained grim in flood-hit parts of Kerala and Karnataka, with the death toll mounting to 158 in the two southern states on Wednesday.

Three rain-related deaths were reported in Madhya Pradesh, where heavy downpour was witnessed.

Heavy rainfall in the lower catchments of the Mahanadi in Odisha is likely to cause a "medium flood" in the river, Water Resources Secretary P K Jena said.

According to a forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), some areas in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are expected to have heavy to very heavy downpour on Thursday.

In Kerala, many low lying areas have been waterlogged, even as the death toll in the rain-battered state has gone up to 95.

A red alert has been sounded for three north Kerala districts of Malappuram, Kannur and Kozhikode, which bore the brunt of the flood fury and landslides last week.

Pathanamthitta, a central Kerala district which has been receiving very heavy rains since last night is put on high vigil, authorities said on Wednesday.

Taking into account the heavy rain forecast, educational institutions in 11 districts have declared holiday on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters here after a cabinet meeting that the government was trying to provide all possible help to those affected.

Vijayan also cautioned people against malicious campaign asking people to refrain from contributing to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) and urged them to liberally donate cutting across all differences.

Of the 95 deaths reported, 35 were from Malappuram and 12 from Wayanad, where massive landslides had battered high range villages of Kavalappara and Puthumala.

Over 1.89 lakh people, who were displaced by the floods and landslides have taken refuge in 1,118 camps, officials said, adding that 1,057 houses had been completely damaged and 11,159 partially destroyed in the deluge across the state.

The death toll in flood-ravaged Karnataka rose to 58 on Wednesday, with the recovery of four more bodies in Hassan district.

Joint rescue teams comprising personnel from the State Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Response Force and Army have evacuated nearly 6.98 lakh people till now.

Meanwhile, life is slowly limping back to normalcy in Kolhapur and Sangli as the flood water has receded in these districts of Maharashtra and the key rivers there are now also flowing below the danger mark.

Till Tuesday, 6.45 lakh people were shifted to safer locations in Kolhapur and Sangli, which have been the worst affected by floods following heavy rains in western Maharashtra and Konkan region.

On Wednesday morning, the water level of the Panchganga river at Rajaram weir in Kolhapur was at 42.11 feet, marginally below the danger line of 43 feet, an official at the collectorate said.

Forty-nine deaths were reported till Tuesday in flood-related incidents in five western Maharashtra districts of Sangli, Kolhapur, Pune, Satara and Solapur, Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar had said.

In Madhya Pradesh, around 3,000 people were shifted to relief camps following a heavy downpour.

Almost the entire state is receiving rains, and some areas are expected to have "very heavy to extremely heavy" rain by Thursday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned.

The rivers Narmada, Kshipra, Betwa, Tapti, Tawa, Chambal and Parwati are in spate.

According to the IMD, heavy rains are likely to lash parts of north Gujarat on Thursday and Friday.

The state received heavy rainfall last week, leading to massive rescue operations in flooded areas by the state and Central agencies, including the Air Force and National Disaster Response Force.

Nearly 50,000 people were evacuated from vulnerable and marooned areas to safe shelters in Odisha and 124 free kitchens were opened for providing them with food.

Mentioning that around 11 lakh cusecs water was flowing in Mahanadi at Khairamal on Tuesday night, the water resources secretary said it was likely to pass through Mundali barrage in Cuttack early on Thursday.

"A medium flood is expected in the system and there is no major threat. There is nothing much to worry, but people should be alert," Jena said.

District administrations in Bolangir, Subarnapur, Boudh, Angul, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Kendrapada and Jajpur have been asked to remain prepared to deal with the possible flood in the Mahanadi, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, August 14 2019. 20:15 IST
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