Flood situation still grim, toll 169

Trivandrum/Mumbai, August 11 

The death toll in Kerala floods mounted to 72 even as rains abated on Sunday after pounding the state for days, while the situation remained grim in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat where 97 persons have lost their lives so far due to the monsoon fury.

All rivers are in spate in Karnataka where the UNESCO world heritage site in Hampi, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Ballari district, has been inundated after over 1.70 lakh cusec water was released from a reservoir on Sunday morning. Tourists in Hampi have been shifted to safer places, officials said.

The unprecedented deluge since last week has left 31 persons dead and displaced four lakh persons in 80 talukas of 17 districts in Karnataka. Union Home Minister Amit Shah undertook an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

In Kerala, over 2.51 lakh people have taken shelter in 1,639 relief camps. The toll in the flood fury has gone up 72 while 58 persons are still missing, according to the report issued by the state government. CM Pinarayi Vijayan reviewed the flood situation on Sunday. Flight operations at the Kochi international airport resumed on Sunday afternoon, two days after it was shut due to inundation of the runway area. 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urged the state and the Centre to provide immediate assistance to those affected by the floods in Kerala. “It is heart-breaking to see what all the people of Wayanad have lost. We will do everything in our power to help them get back on their feet,” Gandhi tweeted after visiting people affected by floods and landslides in his constituency.

The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad in view of heavy rain forecast.

The Southern Railway on Sunday cancelled 10 trains, including the Mangaluru-Thiruvananthapuram Express, Maveli Express, Malabar Express, Kannur-Ernakulam Intercity Express and the Ernakulam-Bengaluru Intercity Express.

Around 35 persons have been killed in rain-related incidents in five districts of western Maharashtra in a week. Four lakh people have so far been moved to safety from the flood-affected areas of Maharashtra, officials said on Sunday, adding 761 villages in 69 tehsils are affected by the deluge. Rains pounded Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Sindhudurg districts in the state in the last one week.

Heavy showers continued to lash parts of Gujarat taking the toll in rain-related incidents to 31, including 12 deaths were reported from Saurashtra region since Saturday. Several parts of central Gujarat and Saurashtra and Kutch regions have been receiving heavy rains for the last three days. — PTI 

Mumbai-b’luru NH remains shut  

Mumbai: National Highway 4 (NH4), which connects Mumbai and Bengaluru via Kolhapur, might reopen for traffic on Monday, five days after it was closed down for traffic due to floods in Kolhapur and Sangli districts in western Maharashtra. Thousands of heavy vehicles have been stranded on the highway since Tuesday due to heavy water-logging

Fadnavis calls off Russia tour 

  • Maharashtra CMDevendra Fadnavis has cancelled his tour to Russia beginning August 12 due to the flood situation in the state. He was one of the five CMs who was scheduled to visit Russia, ahead of PM Narendra Modi's visit 
  • Union Minister Piyush Goyal will represent Maharashtra in the CM’s absence, an official said

BSNL’s free calls in flood-hit areas 

  • State-run telecom firm BSNL on Sunday announced unlimited calling for subscribers within company's network for seven days in flood-hit areas of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra
  • The company has also offered SMS and 1 GB data service for free in these areas