Kerala and Karnataka were facing a grim situation on Saturday as death toll due to floods and landslides triggered by incessant rains climbed to 83, while over four lakh people were evacuated in Maharashtra and 19 lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Gujarat.
Twelve people have died so far in Maharashtra where water level was starting to recede in Sangli and Kolhapur districts, the worst hit by the flood fury. Fifty-seven people died in rain-related incidents with 80 landslides in eight districts of Kerala since August 8, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Many people are still feared trapped under debris following major landslides that hit Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Meppadi in Wayanad.The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for three districts on Sunday — Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he might visit his flood-ravaged constituency of Wayanad on August 11. “Probably going to Kerala tomorrow. I don’t want to disturb the rescue missions there. If I go there, I will be there for two days. I have spoken to the prime minister, (Kerala) chief minister, district collector and Congress workers of the state,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
One of the four shutters of the Banasurasagar dam, located about 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad was opened at 3 pm to discharge excess water and people on the banks of the Kabini river have been asked to be cautious.
Banasurasagar, one of the largest earth dams in India and the second largest of its kind in Asia, impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River. Twenty three trains were cancelled fully and five partially, Southern Railways said.In some relief to passengers, the Kochi airport, which was closed after being inundated, will become operational from Sunday.
Across Kerala, 1,24,464 people have been shifted to 1,111 relief camps, including 25,0028 in Kozhikode and 24,990 in Wayanad, officials said.
The flood situation worsened in Karanataka too, where the death toll rose to 26 in rain-related incidents.
Chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa has termed the natural calamity the “biggest” in 45 years. The state government pegged the losses caused by rains and floods at ` 6,000 crore and Yediyurappa revealed that his government has sought `3,000 crore as relief from the Centre.
Landslides were reported near Maranahalli in Sakaleshpur, official sources said.The entire Pane Mangaluru village in Dakshina Kannada district was inundated by the swollen Netravati river, they said.