Flood toll over 200 in four states, rescue operations intensify; 14 die in rain-related incidents elsewhere

Thiruvananthapuram:Over 120 people were airlifted from an inundated road in Kutch as rescue operations were stepped up on Monday in flood-hit Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, the four states where over 200 people have perished so far, while nine people were killed in landslides in Uttarakhand and Jammu following heavy rains.

Also, five people were killed in West Bengal and Odisha in rain-related incidents on Monday. Rains subsided in many parts of the flood-hit states where over 12 lakh people have been affected and the water level has started receding in the deluge-ravaged areas, officials said.

The death toll in Kerala rose to to 83 on Monday, while in Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra, 122 people have lost their lives so far due to monsoon fury, as per official data.

Nearly 125 people stranded on a road washed away by floods in Gujarat’s Kutch district were rescued by the Indian Air Force (IAF), while in Karnataka and Maharashtra works have started to repair roads damaged by landslides and heavy rains.

In the hill state of Uttarakhand, which is being lashed by heavy rains, six persons, including a woman and her nine-month-old daughter, were buried alive in landslides in three different villages in Chamoli district.

Erosion caused by swirling waters of the flooded Chuflagad River also washed away two buildings on its banks.

The state emergency operation centre in Dehradun said the debris of landslides fell on three houses in Banjabgad, Aligaon and Lankhi villages in the district's Ghat area trapping occupants.

The six people suffocated to death, the centre said. In Jammu and Kashmir, three members of a family died after they came under a boulder during a landslide in Resai district. Two others were also injured in the incident that took place on Sunday evening in Laar village in the district’s Mahore belt.

In states hit by floods, several roads were cleared on Monday, allowing partial move­ment of traffic, with priority being given to trucks carrying essential goods. Pre­c­a­ution is being maintained in the deluge-hit states as most rivers are in a spate and reservoirs at the danger mark.

In Kerala, the death toll increased to 83 and 2.55 lakh people have sought refuge in relief camps, official said, fearing the toll is may go up as 50 people are still missing in Malappuram. There is no ‘red alert’ of torrential rains for any of the 14 dists on Tuesday, but “orange alert” has been issued for six dists.

Congress leader Rahul Gan­dhi on Monday visited flood-ravaged areas in his Wa­yanad Lok Sabha consti­tuency, including the worst-hit Puthumala, and assured all help to those hit by the cal­amity to rebuild their lives.

In Karnataka, 86 taluks in 17 districts have been affected due to floods and rains, and the state government has put the death toll at 42 and those missing at 12.

The state on Monday announced an assistance of Rs5 lakh each to those who have lost their houses completely in the floods and landslides, to take up construction work, Rs1 lakh to those whose houses were damaged and Rs5,000 monthly to those staying in rental accommodations till their houses are ready.

Due to the deluge, a total of 6,73,559 people have been evacuated till Saturday evening and 1,224 relief camps opened where 3,93,956 people are taking shelter.

In Gujarat where nearly 31 people have died in rain-related incidents in the last five days, efforts are on to trace and rescue fishermen of two missing boats.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the IAF, state disaster response forces and local administration are providing relief and conducting rescue operations in states hit by monsoon fury.

In Odisha, an elderly woman was killed and her daughter-in-law seriously injured when a wall of their house collapsed in Kalahandi district, as fresh rains lashed several parts of the state on Monday, with a threat of flood looming large, officials said.

The state had been pounded by rains last week, too, claiming four lives and hitting at least nine dists in south and west Odisha. Four persons, including a girl, were killed in a lightning strike in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Monday,police said.

Rainfall was recorded in parts Bihar and Jharkhand in the east and also in areas of northeast India, according to the India Meteorological Dept (IMD). Light rainfall was also reported from parts of MP, UP and Punjab.

In the national capital, it was a sultry day on Monday, with light rains in the afternoon.

The humidity levels oscillated between 89 and 47 per cent. While the Safdarjung observatory recorded 3.2 mm rainfall, the Palam and the Ridge area observatories received 5.1 mm and 1.2 mm downpour respectively.

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