A clearer picture of the death toll would only emerge later, with rains continuing to lash Peninsular India
At least 100 people have died in floods in three states in Peninsular India this week due to monsoon floods, even as rains over the region are to continue on August 11.
Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra have been hit by catastrophic floods although many areas in these states were suffering from drought a few months back.
Kerala, which suffered from ‘the worst floods in a 100 years’ last year in which nearly 500 people were killed, seems to be having a redux this year.
The international news agency Reuters, quoting the Centre’s disaster management cell, said that 42 people had died in the floods this week and over a lakh evacuated. There have been 80 landslides in Kerala so far, said Reuters.
According to another report, seven districts in the state have been put on high alert for more heavy rains tomorrow namely Idukki, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kannur and the two worst-affected, Wayanad and Malappuram.
The state’s Kochi International Airport, Kerala’s busiest, was closed on August 10 due to heavy rainfall. The airport will open on August 11, with reports speculating the time to be either morning or noon.
Meanwhile, rescuers reached Kavalappara village in Malappuram district, where a massive landslide reportedly buried 30 of the 70 houses around 7 pm on August 8.
North of Kerala, Karnataka is experiencing its ‘worst floods in nearly 45 years’ according to its newly-appointed Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa. All across the western part of the state, districts have been deluged by heavy rains this week.
These include Bagalkot, Belgavi, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Bijapur, Kodagu, Chikkamagalur, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru.
The rainfall patterns are setting new records, indicating climate change. On August 9, Down To Earth reported that the downpour was 3,176 per cent above normal in Mysuru and 2,222 per cent in Dharwad on August 8.
Meanwhile, Kodagu, the source of the Cauvery river, which had been suffering from a drought in March-May this year, received double the amount of August’s rainfall in just nine days.
Between August 1 and August 9, the district got 36.8 inches (920 millimetres) of rainfall. The average rainfall for Kodagu in August is around 15 inches.
Quoting Yeddyurappa, Reuters said some 24 people had died in the state, with around 1,024 villages inundated and over 200,000 people evacuated.
North of Karnataka, Maharashtra has been suffering too, especially its western part, the sugar bowl of the state. The two worst-affected districts are Sangli and Kolhapur.
The Panchganga and Krishna rivers are still flowing way above the danger mark. Maharashtra and Karnataka have bickered over opening the gates of the Almatti dam on the Krishna as heavy rains in Maharashtra have inundated the river, according to this report.
According to Reuters, at least 29 people have died in Maharashtra this week.
However, the death toll is almost definitely set to rise further since flood waters are yet to recede in many areas, which rains will continue to pound in the next few days. Many victims of landslides are also feared to be buried under rubble still and recovery of bodies could increase the death toll.
According to this media report, nearly 109 people have died in the floods this week.
Meanwhile, outside of these three states, others are suffering as well. There have been heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
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