No fresh red-alert predicts in Kerala

For the first time since August 9, no red alert has been issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for any of Kerala’s 14 districts. However, this afternoon IMD forecast that widespread rains, with heavy rains at isolated places, are likely to continue over Kerala following low pressure area very likely to develop over northwest Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood during the next 24 hours.

Chief Minister P Vijayan said that the red alert has now been limited to Ernakulam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts only. The worst affected places include Aluva, Chalakudy, Chengannur, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta, where massive rescue operations were on as scores of persons were rescued.

The death toll due to the devastating rains and floods increased to 370, as two more deaths were reported on Sunday with rescue operations continuing in the worst affected districts of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur. In a boost for rescue and relief operations in the flood-ravaged state, flight operations are set to resume from Kochi Naval Base from tomorrow.

The unprecedented rains have brought the state to a standstill. Nearly 200 people have died since August 8. At least 33 deaths were reported on Saturday. Essential services have taken a hit, with shortages in medical supplies and drinking water reported from several places.

More than 200,000 families have taken refuge at relief camps set up across the state, an official at the Kerala State Disaster Management office said. Anil Vasudevan, who handles disaster management at the Kerala health department, told Reuters that authorities had isolated three people with chickenpox in one of the relief camps in Aluva town, nearly 250 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

He said the department was preparing to deal with a possible outbreak of water-borne and air-borne diseases in the camps, where an estimated two million people have taken shelter since the monsoon rains began three months ago.

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