Rains wreak havoc in South India

The incessant rains have battered the western belt of India — from Maharashtra to Kerala. As rivers in Sangli and Kolhapur assume risky proportions, Belagavi in Karnataka is seeing plenty of evacuations. In Kerala, the flood situation is reminiscent of last year’s calamity.

At least 16 people have died in rain related incidents over the past few days in parts of South India, even as torrential rains, gusty winds and landslips left a trail of destruction and disrupted train and road transport services Thursday.

Four deaths were reported from Kerala and three in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

An alert has been sounded in four districts of Kerala where heavy rains, squally winds and widespread landslips have wreaked havoc in several areas after the second spell of the south-west monsoon intensified.

Nearly 43,000 people have so far been evacuated from Karnataka, where the rain fury has left nine people dead.

The worst-hit was Belagavi district, where six persons have lost their lives, while 40,180 people have been evacuated. Nearly 17,000 people are taking shelter in relief camps.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is currently camping in Belagavi supervising relief and rescue operations.

“Releases from reservoirs are well coordinated and as per protocol to prevent inundation of downstream areas. The villages likely to be affected due to heavy discharge have been identified and necessary precautions taken”, an official statement said.

A year after the devastating deluge, northern Kerala is flooded again as heavy rains and widespread landslides wreaked havoc in several parts claiming four lives, while over 2,000 people have been shifted to relief camps on Thursday.

As ‘red alert’ has been sounded in four districts and torrential rains submerged low-lying areas leaving people stranded in houses and isolated places, the state government sought the help of Army and the National Disaster Response Force for rescue mission.

Four recent deaths have been reported in rain-related incidents. They include a one year-old girl child, who was killed following landslide in highrange Idukki. Padmanabhan (58) drowned when he fell into a stream in Kannur while a 50-year-old man lost life in a tribal hamlet Attappadi in Palakkad district.

Rivers and rivulets in Srikakulam and east and west Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh have been receiving flood water from the neighbouring states. Vamsadhara and Nagavali in Srikakulam district received unexpected inflows from Odisha but, the situation was managed. Standing crops were damaged in marooned villages. Chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy went on an aerial survey of the affected areas in East and West Godavari districts on Thursday afternoon. He directed the officials to arrange for shifting of the people form affected villages to relief camps. The CM also directed the officials to distribute financial assistance at the rate of Rs 5,000 for every family in all the affected villages.

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