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Kerala flood situation worsens, death toll reaches 357; 11 dists still on alert

Kerala flood situation worsens, death toll reaches 357; 11 dists still on alert
Indian navy and rescue personnel evacuating local residents.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, AUG 18 (IANS) | Publish Date: 8/18/2018 11:16:53 AM IST

 Death toll due to rains and floods in Kerala has gone up to 357 this monsoon season, as 22 more deaths were reported on Saturday and red alert continued in 11 districts following prediction of more rains.

Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department forecast on Saturday afternoon that widespread rains, with heavy rains at isolated places, is likely to continue over Kerala following low pressure area very likely to develop over northwest Bay of Bengal and the neighbourhood during the next 24 hours.

Barring Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kasargode, the remaining 11 districts of Kerala continued to be on red alert following prediction of more rains.

The worst affected places include Aluva, Chalakudy, Chengannur, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta, where massive rescue operations were on as scores of persons were rescued.

Media houses continued to be flooded with requests from friends and relatives of those stranded in affected areas.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a review meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kochi. In a memorandum submitted to the Centre, Vijayan said that the death toll in rain-related incidents since May 29 had climbed to 357. Over 3.53 lakh affected persons had been lodged in over 2,000 relief camps, he said.

Modi sanctioned Rs 500 crore to the flood-battered state, apart from Rs 100 crore announced earlier by the Centre on August 12, before returning to Delhi after an aerial survey of the affected areas.

Vijayan told the media here that the situation is “very serious and grave”.

“The death toll would have been higher, but for the work we did. Things are under control,” said Vijayan, whose government was flayed by Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala for failing to take up rescue and relief work effectively.

Meanwhile, anger mounted across Kerala as coordination of rescue work went haywire due to the magnitude of calamity.

Kerala is facing the heaviest rains and consequent widespread floods and destruction since 1924, which the state estimates has caused a loss of over Rs 19,500 crore.

 

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