Army, Navy rev up rescue ops in flood-hit states

Erika Holt
August 12, 2019

Indian Army has intensified its relief and rescue operations in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Kerala has suffered the maximum death toll with 51 killed so far and over 100,000 people evacuated.

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

In Karnataka, around 150,000 hectares of crops and vegetables have been destroyed by floods, media reports said. As many as 16 people have lost their lives due to building or wall collapses.

A year after the state was devastated by monsoon floods the same month that was called the worst deluge in a century, the southern state has been at the receiving end of nature's fury again.

On Saturday, One of the four shutters of the Banasurasagar dam, located about 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad, was opened on Saturday.

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At least nine bodies have been recovered so far in the landslide that occurred at Kavalappara, Nilambur in Malappuram district on August 8. As many as 27 people have died due to floods in five districts of Pune division while more than 200,000 people have been evacuated to safer places from three districts of Kolhapur, Sangli, and Satara.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that the state witnessed 80 landslides in eight districts in the past two days. "As many as 2.35 lakh people have been moved to safety.222 head of livestock are dead and 44,013 head of cattle have been rescued and provided shelter", he said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) teams found it hard to conduct the search and rescue operations due to the worsening conditions in Wayanad and Malappuram districts.

"Today there is a red alert in Kannur, Kasargode and Wayanad and orange alerts in six other districts".

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is visiting his constituency Wayanad, said that rescue operations are underway but more help is required. Some residents said the sudden opening of dam gates without proper warning to those living downstream was a big factor in the devastation.

Almost 2.5 lakh people have been evacuated in Sangli, Kolhapur and Pune, divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said.

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