Monday, August 3, 2020 | ePaper

Floods kill at least 22 in southern India, displace thousands

  • Print


Members of a rescue team wade through a water-logged area during heavy rains on the outskirts of Kochi in the southern state of Kerala, India on Thursday.

Reuters, Mumbai :
At least 22 people have died in the southern Indian state of Kerala after torrential monsoon rains caused landslides and flooding that cut off some areas, authorities said on Friday.
Seasonal monsoon rains from June to September cause deaths and mass displacement across South Asia every year but they also deliver more than 70% of India's rainfall and are crucial for farm output and economic growth.
In Kerala, the disaster forced the evacuation of more than 22,000 people and the closure of Cochin International Airport, the busiest airport in the tourist state.
Located along the banks of the Periyar river, the airport will be shut until at least 1500 IST (0930 GMT) on Sunday, although the Indian Navy has opened an airfield at a naval base for use by commercial flights, officials said.
Kerala was hit by devastating floods last August that killed more than 200 people and affected more than 5 million. Those floods, dubbed the worst to hit the state in nearly a century, caused billions of dollars of damage to fields, homes and other infrastructure.
A few dozen people are feared trapped after a major landslide in Puthumala village in the hilly district of Wayanad. Rescuers have recovered seven dead bodies and the state government is planning to airlift rescue equipment to the area, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
"All arrangements have been put in place to deal with the disaster," Vijayan said.
The western Indian states of states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka have also been hit this week by heavy rains and flooding.
Officials said at least 38 people have been killed in the states this week due to the rains and more than 200,000 have been evacuated.
Hundreds of villages and a few towns in the affected areas of Maharashtra do not have electricity and drinking water, a state government official said on Friday, and authorities are trying to restore electricity in some areas.
Fuel was also scarce because some districts had been cut off from the rest of the state, the official said.
Schools and colleges in many parts of western and southern India have been shut since Monday and are unlikely to open this week, authorities have said.
Milk and vegetable supplies to India's financial hub, Mumbai, dropped significantly on Friday because many of the affected districts in Maharashtra are major suppliers.

The weather department has forecast heavy rainfall in Kerala, and Maharashtra and Karnataka in the next two days.

Kerala has been releasing water from some of its dams to avoid dam waters rising to dangerous levels like last year, authorities said.
In Karnataka, officials said some major reservoirs were nearly full, and warned that nearby villages could be hit by large discharges of water.

"We have sought help from the central government to rescue any people who may get stranded because of the floods," Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa told media.

Temples and electric poles were underwater as the floods flowed unabated, in video images posted by a journalist in a northern district of Karnataka.

Weather officials have forecast heavy rain in the region, including the nearby states of Kerala and Goa, over the next three to five days.

Kerala weather officials called a "red alert" in four districts they saw at risk of receiving more than 200 mm (8 inches) of rain on Thursday.

Schools and colleges in many places have been shut since Monday and are unlikely to open this week, authorities have said.

More News For this Category

More than 100 civilians killed in Libya between April and June

Al Jazeera News :More than 100 civilians including children were killed by ground fighting, explosive remnants and air raids in Libya between April and June, according to the United

India uses arrival of new fighter jets to warn China

Dawn.com, New Delhi : The first five Rafale fighter jets bought from France in a multi-billion-dollar deal landed in India on Wednesday and the defence minister used their arrival to

Hong Kong bars 12 from election, but denies impinging on civil rights

Hong Kong bars 12 from election, but denies impinging on civil rights

Reuters, Hong Kong :Hong Kong's government said on Thursday 12 pro-democracy candidates had been disqualified from running for election to the legislature, citing opposition to a new national security

Zimbabwe clears streets, shops close ahead of planned protests

Zimbabwe clears streets, shops close ahead of planned protests

Reuters, Harare :Zimbabwe's security forces on Thursday cleared people off streets of the capital Harare and forced shops to close, a day before planned anti-government protests during the worst

Lawmaker tests positive, leaving congress rattled

Lawmaker tests positive, leaving congress rattled

The New York Times :Rep Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican who has frequently refused to don a face covering in the Capitol, confirmed on Wednesday that he had tested

Malaysia's ruling coalition stumbles as key ally quits political pact

Malaysia's ruling coalition stumbles as key ally quits political pact

Reuters :The biggest party in Malaysia's ruling coalition on Thursday said it will withdraw from a political alliance with the prime minister but will continue to support the government,

Tehran launches underground ballistic missiles during exercise

Tehran launches underground ballistic missiles during exercise

AP, Tehran :Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched underground ballistic missiles on Wednesday as part of an exercise involving a mock-up American aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, highlighting

Iran batters dummy US aircraft carrier in Gulf exercises

AFP, Tehran :Iran's Revolutionary Guards blasted a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier with missiles on Tuesday during military exercises in sensitive Gulf waters, state television reported.The exercises -

Saudi Arabia proposes political resolution to Yemeni government, but no deal to end standoff

Reuters :Under the resolution, Yemen's Southern Transitional Council (STC) would rescind self rule, implement the Riyadh agreement and appoint a governor for Aden, said the statement on Wednesday.Yemen's prime

Hong Kong University fires prominent democracy activist Benny Tai

Al Jazeera News :The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has fired veteran pro-democracy activist Benny Tai from his tenured position as an associate professor of law, a move he