As many as 324 people have lost their lives and over 300,000 have been displaced in Kerala, south west India. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, said the state is facing its worst flood in 100 years.
Disaster management authorities in India reported that the total area flooded in the state increased from 28, 737 hectares on 14 August to 50,119 hectares on 17 August. As of 17 August 24,948 hectares were flooded in Alappuzha and 14,006 in Kottayam districts. The Chief Minister said that 80 dams have been opened across the state.
Thousands of personnel of Indian Navy, Air Force, Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are engaged in the rescue, relief and evacuation operations, with the support of dozens of helicopters, aircraft and motorboats. A total of 82,442 rescues were made on 17 August.
As of 17 August, 314,391 people from 70,085 families were staying in 2,094 relief camps across the state.
Prime Minister’s Visit
During a visit to the affected areas on 18 August, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief and sorrow on the unfortunate deaths and damage. He visited Kerala to review the situation and make aerial assessments of the damages.
Signs of Floods Receding
By 19 August the heavy rain was easing and flood waters slowly receding in some areas.
During the review meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) 19 August, the Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha said that focus should now be on provision of emergency supplies of food, water, medicines and restoration of essential services such as power, fuel, telecom and transport links as flood water recedes.
There is a fear of increased disease in the wake of the flooding and medical relief camps have been set up to help flood victims.
Minister of Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda, said on 19 August, “3,757 medical relief camps have been set up. As requested by the State Government, 90 types of medicines, in the requested quantity are being sent to the State. The first tranche of medicines shall reach tomorrow. The Health Ministry is also coordinating with other States which have committed to providing medicines so as to augment supplies.”
It is likely the death toll will increase as the flood waters receded and more bodies are found.
— NDRF (@NDRFHQ) August 19, 2018
— NDRF (@NDRFHQ) August 18, 2018
— NDRF (@NDRFHQ) August 18, 2018
Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years. 80 dams opened, 324 lives lost and 223139 people are in about 1500+ relief camps. Your help can rebuild the lives of the affected. Donate to https://t.co/FjYFEdOsyl #StandWithKerala.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 17, 2018
#Update #KeralaFloods2018 Captain Syed Ashad Ahmed of 8 Engineer Regiment, established captive ferry to rescue 57 civilians from Chngannur. #IndianArmy made 15 bridges, provided relief material to 20 villages, meals ready to eat to 1200 civilians. #OpMadad @PIB_India pic.twitter.com/5plDy3x7z3
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) August 20, 2018
#KeralaFloods2018 A joint rescue operation launched by personnel from the #DograRegiment of the #IndianArmy & Karnataka Civil Defence volunteers. Around 50 people rescued from their homes in Somwarpet taluk of Kodagu district.We are at it. #OpMadad #KeralaFloodRelief@PIB_India pic.twitter.com/Mm6pORPchf
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) August 19, 2018