42 dead in rain, mudslides

Erika Holt
August 11, 2019

However, as the Shanthitheeram remained submerged, relatives of the deceased found it hard to perform the last rites.

In the southwestern state of Kerala, some 42 people died and over 100,000 affected people have been evacuated, the central government's disaster management cell said, after 80 landslides hit the state in two days. Banasurasagar, one of the largest earth dams in India and the second largest of its kind in Asia, impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River. All precautions have been taken. "So far, there is no need to shift the inmates out of the jail", Additional Director General (Prisons) Sunil Ramanand said told PTI.

Kottathara, Padinjaarathara and Panamaram gram panchayats are likely to be affected by the water release from the dam. Authorities have set up 988 relief camps with 107,699 people.

In neighboring Karnataka, home to India's tech hub Bengaluru, some 24 people have died in what chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said on Saturday were the worst floods in 45 years.

In the past few days, heavy rains and landslides have claimed more than 50 lives and several dozen are missing in Kerala.

Flight operations at the worldwide airport here were suspended on Thursday for four hours till midnight as a precautionary measure in view of heavy rains lashing the region, an official said. Six out of the eight stranded aircraft also departed. The flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli districts in western Maharashtra showed signs of improvement as water started to recede from inundated areas, officials said.

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Flights coming to the airport have been diverted, a spokesman of the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) said without elaborating.

Train services have also been disrupted due to flooding and trees falling on rail tracks.

MangaluruNagercoil Parasuram Express has been cancelled between Mangaluru and Wadakkanchery, MangaluruNagercoil Ernad Express has been cancelled between Mangaluru and Thrisur, ThiruvananthapuramHyderabad Sabari Express has been cancelled between Thiruvananthapuram and Coimbatore.

Meanwhile, the search operations resumed at Kavalappara in Malappuram, where an entire hill fell like a house of cards on Friday.

An official is quoted as saying the bodies of seven people have been recovered and 15 are feared trapped in a mudslide in a Wayanad tea plantation. All dams in Pune, Satara, Sangli, and Kolhapur are totally full post heavy rains in the region.

The total number of deaths because of rain or flood related incidents in the five districts during this period stood at 27, officials said. Taking a cue from incidents of delayed evacuation a year ago, he requested people in low-lying areas to evacuate without waiting for the water to reach shoulder-high levels. The dam has reached nearly its full capacity of 253.26 cubic meters and its discharge during last year's floods had spread panic.

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