Kerala death toll from floods touches 37, rain lets up but red alert remains

The water level in Kerala’s swollen Idukki reservoir fell to below 2,400 feet on Sunday following a brief let up in rain even as the toll rose to 37 in the worst natural calamity seen in the state in over nine decades.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh will carry out an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas in the afternoon.

The red alert will continue in eight districts as the met office predicted heavy rains for two more days. Over half of the state is flood-affected and officials said this was the worst natural calamity after the 1924 deluge. At least 37 people lost their lives in landslides and flash floods and 55,000 people have been shifted to relief camps.

“It is an unprecedented natural disaster. We face an uphill task in rebuilding devastated areas. We need help from all quarters,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after an aerial survey of the worst-hit Idukki and Wayanad districts and visiting relief camps in Wayanad on Saturday.

The chopper of Vijayan, who was accompanied by leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala, could not land in Idukki due to bad weather and was later diverted to Wayanad.

Affected people reeled out their woes before the chief minister and some of them said they lost everything they earned in life and it was difficult for them to piece together their lives again. Vijayan later said special ‘adalats’ will be set up to issue duplicate copies of documents and educational certificates.

Army, Navy and Air Force and National Disaster Response Force teams were deployed in many areas, including Idukki and Wayanad and revenue minister E Chandrasekharan said their timely deployment of rescue teams helped save many lives.

First Published: Aug 12, 2018 13:01 IST

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