Kerala flood situation very serious, says Rajnath Singh
Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday described the situation in the flood-affected areas of Kerala as “very serious” and assured the state of all possible help from the central government.
Singh made the statement after an aerial survey of Idukki and Ernakulam districts. He was accompanied by federal Tourism Minister K J Alphons and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
“The situation is very serious in Kerala. The Centre will extend all necessary support to the state in all respects,” Singh told inmates of a relief camp near Kochi.
Vijayan said the affected people need not worry as the state government would do everything to ensure them relief.
“Every loss that has been suffered will be addressed, including loss of houses, other properties and crops. Once you return to your homes, you will face a lot of problems. Necessary steps will be taken to clean up your homes,” Vijayan said.
Officials in Ernakulam and Thrissur said the flood situation was under control though parts of both districts remained submerged. The Periyar river water level had come down enabling some of the affected people to return home, they said.
Idukki district, which recorded 90mm rainfall over 24 hours till Saturday morning, witnessed lesser rainfall at 40mm yesterday morning, weather officials said.
Water level in Idukki dam had decreased by 3ft in the past 48 hours to stand at 2,398.66ft yesterday even though rain was recorded at a few places in and around the dam area.
The situation in the hilly district of Wayanad – which saw destruction to crops and properties – looked grim yesterday as intermittent heavy rains pounded the area, forcing the authorities to ask those lodged in relief camps to stay back due to the threat of landslides.
Idukki district authorities said a decision on whether to close all five dam floodgates, opened after a downpour, will be taken on the basis of rainfall in the coming days.
State Power Minister M M Mani said the decision will be taken after detailed discussions with officials concerned.
The army’s ‘Operation Sahyog’ continued in Kerala, with two army columns undertaking relief and rescue operations in rain-battered areas of Aluva in Ernakulam district, and one column in Adimali in Idukki district.
A team of approximately 80 personnel of the Chennai Regiment from Pangode Military Station in the state capital completed a makeshift bridge in the Virinjapara-Mankulam area in Idukki district, after a concrete bridge there had been washed away in the floods.
The temporary bridge restored road connectivity to around 800 families living in the area.
Meanwhile, the hills of Himachal Pradesh in north India yesterday heavy rains.
Naina Devi in Bilaspur district recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 130mm, with more showers in store till August 16, the Met office said.
“Monsoon was active in the state during the last 24 hours. Precipitation occurred at most places with very heavy rainfall in Bilaspur and Hamirpur districts,” an official of the meteorological office said.
He said heavy to very heavy rainfall conditions are likely to continue in the state till today.
Nadaun town in Hamirpur district got 96mm, while Kangra town received 72.2mm and Una town 64.6mm.
State capital Shimla received just 66mm rain, while Manali got 5.4mm. These towns saw the minimum temperature at 16.7 and 13.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.
A government spokesman said the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries were in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts. experienced
Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh interacts with flood victims at a relief camp in Ernakulam, Kerala yesterday. Accompanying him are Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and federal Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam.