Kerala floods: Death toll rises to 42, red alert for 8 districts

As rains continue to wreak havoc across the state, the death toll in Kerala rose to 42. The calamity has rendered hundreds of homeless. Around 17,974 people have been sheltered in relief camps.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has informed that the state is witnessing such a situation for the first time. The state has opened 35 of its 39 dams.

According to reports, it is the worst floods the state had experienced since 1924. “We’re witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala. Almost all dams are opened. Most of our water treatment plants are submerged, motors are damaged. We’re keeping all this in mind but our priority is to get drinking water to the people,” CM Vijayan said.

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India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasargode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Idukki, and Ernakulam Districts in Kerala until Thursday. While four teams of National Disaster Rescue Force have been airlifted from Pune Airport to Kerala for rescue operations along with full-wave rectified (FWR) equipment and communication equipment with them.

The unabated rains have also compelled the authorities to shut down flight operations from Cochin international airport till August 18 after flood water submerged the runway on August 14. The state has suffered an overall loss of Rs 8,316 crore and has urged the Centre to declare the calamity a ‘rare severity’ and provide the required funds and assistance within four weeks.

(With ANI inputs)

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