Ker­ala flood sit­u­a­tion very se­ri­ous, says Ra­j­nath Singh

Gulf Times - - INDIA -

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.

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