Flood Toll At 225; Relief Operations Intensify In Karnataka, Maharashtra But No Respite In Kerala
The death toll in flood-affected states mounted to 225 on Tuesday, with 91 dying since Aug. 8 in Kerala where more rain has been forecast, even as the weather in deluge-hit Karnataka and Maharashtra improved, allowing authorities to speed up rescue and relief operations.
Odisha, which is being battered by heavy showers since last week, on Tuesday saw a flood-like situation in parts of the state and the forecast is of more rains in the next two days.
Besides Kerala, 54 have died in Karnataka, 49 in Maharashtra and 31 in Gujarat in floods and related incidents. Two rain-related deaths were also reported from Uttar Pradesh where several parts saw heavy overnight showers.
In Kerala, a red alert has been issued for Malappuram and Kozhikode as extremely heavy rains are expected in central areas of the state. The flood-hit northern parts are limping back to normalcy, officials said.
Due to strengthening of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, extremely heavy rains are expected to lash several parts of the state, Director of the India Meteorological Department in Thiruvananthapuram K Santosh said.
The state government update on Tuesday put the death toll at 91 since Aug. 8 and said the toll is likely to go up as 59 people are still missing.
Rescue operations in Maharashtra's flood-hit Kolhapur and Sangli districts are over, officials said, adding that with waters receding, the focus is now more on providing essential supplies to the affected people.
The death toll in five western Maharashtra districts over nine days due to flood-related incidents reached 49, officials said.
However, the meteorological department forecast could increase worries of the administration as Kolhapur and Sangli districts in western Maharashtra are still struggling to emerge from the massive floods that had swamped the region.
It has predicted heavy to very heavy showers at isolated places in hilly areas in Pune, Kolhapur and Satara districts of the state on Wednesday.
The situation in Karnataka's flood and heavy rain affected districts has improved and inflows in reservoirs are also steadily decreasing, an official update issued by the government said on Tuesday said.
"Flood situation is normalising. The water has started receding in many flood-affected districts and flood situation has improved," it said.
The Karnataka government has decided to celebrate the country's independence day in a "simple" way as most parts of the state are affected by floods and incessant rains.
The death rose to 54 on Tuesday and nearly four lakh people are lodged in 1,151 relief camps, as per official data.
In the past seven days, the Indian Navy has rescued over 14,000 people from flood-affected areas of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka under operation 'Varsha Rahat'. Forty-one Navy teams were deployed in difficult terrains of the three states where they used advanced light helicopters and also boats to reach the marooned areas, an official said.
Due to incessant rains in Odisha, train services were affected in western parts of the state as water was flowing over the tracks in some places in Boudh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Sonepur districts.
With more rainfall likely to occur over the next two days due to formation of a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal, district administrations have been asked to be prepared to deal with possible flood.
Madhya Pradesh has received eight percent more rainfall than the average so far this season, the Indian Meteorology Department said on Tuesday.
The state received around 623 mm rainfall (average of rainfall across all the districts) from June 1 to Aug. 13 against the normal 577 millimetre during this period, it said.
In the national capital, several areas were lashed by heavy rains and the MeT department has forecast showers on Independence Day.
It said so far in August, 67 percent less rainfall has been observed as compared to the average. The month's average is 116.1 mm and it has observed 39.1 mm which is 77 mm less. The seasonal average is 392.2 mm rainfall and it has been recorded at 249.5 mm till now which is 36 percent less than the average, the department said.
The MeT in Himachal Pradesh, a weekend destination for Delhites, has issued a yellow alert for Friday and Saturday in the state, which has reported heavy rainfall in several areas.
The maximum temperatures on Tuesday hovered around 30 degrees Celsius in Punjab and Haryana, while some parts in both the states received rain.