After days of incessant rains, the situation improved in many parts of Kerala and Karnataka on Tuesday with water receding in affected areas, as the combined toll mounted to 145 and over six lakh people housed in more than 2,000 relief camps in the two states.
As the toll in floods and landslips in Kerala rose to 91 on Tuesday, authorities are on a high alert with weathermen forecasting isolated extremely heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours.
A total of 2.26 lakh people, who were displaced by floods and landslides, have been housed in 1,239 relief camps, officials said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention to protect both the life and livelihood of the people in his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad, ravaged by floods and landslides.
With the rain fury abating in Malappuram on Tuesday, operations were in full swing to trace those missing in a series of landslips at Kavalappara and Kottakunnu since August 8.
According to the government update at 7 pm, Tuesday, 91 people have lost their lives in the state--60 from the three northern districts of Malappuram (31), Kozhikode (17) and Wayanad (12) since August 8 and the toll is likely to go up further as 59 were still missing.
A red alert has been issued for the rain-battered Malappuram and Kozhikode on Wednesday, IMD sources said, adding over 20 cm of rains are expected in these districts.
The worst-hit Malappuram had been ravaged by massive landslides at Kavalappara and Kottakunnu on August 8 where 51 people are still missing after their homes were flattened by nature's fury.
In Wayanad, which was also ravaged by a landslide at Puthumala in Mepaddi, 12 people have died and seven are still missing.
Due to the strengthening of the low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, extremely heavy rains are expected to lash several parts of the state, Director of India Meteorological Department (IMD) at Thiruvananthapuram, K Santosh said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan toured the worst affected districts of Malappuram and Wayanad, where 43 people have died in landslides
A Defence press release said the Chief Minister also made an aerial survey over the flood affected areas in these districts in an IAF Mi-17 helicopter.
Meanwhile, in view of the devastation caused by floods and landslides, Governor P Sathasivam has cancelled the 'At Home' function scheduled to be held on August 15 at the Raj Bhavan as part of Independence day celebrations.
Vijayan also visited relief centres in Malappuram and held discussions with people's representatives and officials.
Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi had toured the affected areas and relief camps promising all help to the people.
In a Facebook post, the congress leader praised the flood-hit people of his Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, saying the bravery and dignity displayed by them in the face of tragedy was "truly humbling."
I left Wayanad with nothing but pride for the people I represent," Gandhi, who left Kerala on Tuesday morning after winding up his two-day visit to Wayanad, said in the post.
At least 11,159 houses have been damaged partially in various parts of the state and 1057 fully in rain-related incidents.
In Karnataka, the situation improved with water receding in water receding in the affected areas, as the toll rose to 54 and nearly four lakh people lodged in 1,151 relief camps.
The focus by and large has now shifted to relief and rehabilitation work, with officials now concentrating on restoring road connectivity, power and water supply.
Relief and rehabilitation operations have gathered pace in the 21 districts in north, coastal and Malnad regions, where the rains had created mayhem in the past one week.
"Inflows into the reservoirs are steadily decreasing, flood situation is improving," the state government said in an official release.
A total of 100 taluks in 21 districts have been affected due to floods and rains in the State, where 1,151 relief camps have been opened giving shelter for nearly four lakh people.
Joint rescue teams comprising Fire and Emergency, SDRF, NDRF and Army have evacuated 6.97 lakh people as on Tuesday.
As many as 55,325 houses have been damaged, and agriculture and horticulture crop loss (preliminary assessment) stands at 4.45 lakh hectares, according to official figures.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa visited flood-affected areas in his home district of Shivamogga to oversee the relief work and held discussion with officials.
The state government has decided to celebrate independence day in a "simple" way as most parts of the State had been affected by floods and incessant rains.