The death toll in Kerala floods has shot up to 67 on 15 August after 24 more deaths were reported from the state. The alarming situation had prompted the state chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, to make a desperate plea to Tamil Nadu government to lower water level in Mullaperiyar dam.
However, hours later, the Tamil Nadu government declined the request citing Supreme Court orders. Tamil Nadu said that the entire inflow will be discharged, but the level will be maintained at 142 ft, reported The Hindu.
Among those killed till now are seven in Thiruvananthapuram, 16 in Idukki, 17 in Malappuram, four in Wayanad, three each in Thrissur, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kannur, two each in Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam and one in Kollam.
A report by IANS said that five family members died in Malappuram on Wednesday. They were crushed when their house collapsed. Three were reported missing, while one child was rescued. A person died in a Munnar lodge collapse. A 70-year-old woman was electrocuted near Pathanamthitta as her house was submerged.
Landslides have claimed lives in Malappuram too. In Thiruvananthapuram district, a 70-year-old man died after the wall of his house collapsed.
Flight operations at Kochi Airport have been suspended till 18 August as teh government sounded the Red Alert in all 14 districts of the state. From Kasaragod in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south, all rivers are in spate and shutters of 35 dams, including Mullaperiyar, have been opened.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government has postponed Onam examinations scheduled to be held from 31 August in the schools. This was also because many schools had turned into relief homes for many flood survivors. The new date for the exam will be announced later. The state government has already cancelled the state Onam celebrations this year.
The week-long festivities were to take place in August — with the Thiru Onam falling on 25 August. “What has occurred in our state has been the worst ever (disaster). A total of 444 villages have been affected.
Elsewhere, Congress MP from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor, on Wednesday urged Union Minister Sadananda Gowda to authorise all lawmakers to donate up to Rs 25 lakh each from their MPLAD funds towards Kerala floods. He tweeted, “Urge @DVSBJP to immediately authorize all MPs to donate upto 25 lakhs each from their MPLADS funds for #KeralaFloods relief, on behalf of the compassionate people they represent. There are several precedents, eg floods in Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu. Pls don’t delay!”
Urge @DVSBJP to immediately authorize all MPs to donate upto 25 lakhs each from their MPLADS funds for #KeralaFloods relief, on behalf of the compassionate people they represent. There are several precedents, eg floods in Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu. Pls don’t delay! @rajnathsingh
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 15, 2018
The heaviest rains and floods since 1924 have caused massive destruction, leaving more than 75,000 people in relief camps and damage to crops and properties that the state estimated to be over Rs 8,000 crore.