Death toll from India floods rises to 95, hundreds of thousands evacuated

Sunday, 11 Aug, 2019

Sangli: The flood situation due to heavy rains has worsened in western Maharashtra's Sangli with water entering the district prison, forcing authorities to shift prisoners to its upper floor, an official said on today. Kochi airport has been shut for the same.

Incessant rains over the last two days in Kerala have resulted in several deaths and triggered a landslide in Nilambur region of Malappuram district, due to which over 40 people are stranded.

At least 48 people have died since Thursday in floods in Kerala, where the beaches and hill resorts are a major global tourist magnet, state police spokesman Pramod Kumar told AFP.

The state planned to open the gates of Banasurasagar dam in Wayanad district at 0930 GMT, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said during a news conference in the city of Kochi.

The Met department has issued a red alert in Ernakulam, Thrissur, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod Districts of the state for Friday and in Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur for August 10.

"The people of Wayanad, my Lok Sabha constituency, are in my thoughts & prayers as they battle raging flood waters. What we understand is that 15 people are still missing", he said, adding search operations by Army and National Disaster Response Force personnel are underway. The flood situation in Kolhapur and Sangli districts in western Maharashtra showed signs of improvement as water started to recede from inundated areas, officials said.

Landslides and mud-slips have been reported from over 25 places in the state.

Heavy rain is continuing in Wayanad, hampering the rescue efforts, the officials said. "It is not yet clear how many people were affected in the landslip". "Three bodies have been recovered from the region", the Chief Minister said after a high-level meeting held here on Friday to review the flood situation.

On Friday, rains hammered South India Friday - Kerala being the worst-hit - with reports of 45 deaths over the past three days, as rail and air services were hit and authorities scrambled to rescue people from low-lying and submerged areas.

Fuel was also scarce because some districts had been cut off from the rest of the state, the official said.

CM said at most places, water level has gone higher than the floods of a year ago.

Nine bodies were recovered and hundreds of people were rescued. "The dam operators are likely to turn around and say that "but the dams were full and we had no option but to release the water". So far, there is no need to shift the inmates out of the jail", Additional Director General (Prisons) Sunil Ramanand said told PTI.