There was a slight let-up in the monsoon fury today in many parts of Kerala even as the toll crossed 100.
Thiruvananthapuram: There was a slight respite in the monsoon fury across Kerala today, but the red alert across all the districts would continue.
Though there was a let up in the rains since last night, the misery of people is unabated. Over 100 people have lost their lives and more than 1.5 lakh have been rendered homeless.
Hundreds are still awaiting evacuation teams to arrive even as there were desperate pleas on TV and social media to save them from the flood waters.
What is hampering the relief operations is the snapping of road and rail traffic. Major bridges and highways are under water making it difficult for relief and rehabilitation teams to reach the marooned.
More than 40 people were swept away on Thursday by rising waters in what is undoubtedly the worst floods in Kerala.
The airport in Kochi, the state’s largest, was declared shut till August 26 and Southern Railway and Kochi Metro suspended their operations.
The worst affected districts are Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Wayanad, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kannur.
Pathanamthitta district in central Kerala continued to be the worst affected in the last 24 hours as thousands of people are trapped in their homes in the towns of Ranni, Aranmula and Kozhencherry.
Thursday saw 10 more helicopters joining the existing fleet in the massive rescue operation while 40 additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and a team of marine commandos also arrived. Thirty three of the state’s 39 dams have opened their sluice gates to discharge water, adding to the surge in already overflowing rivers.
“This sort of a situation has never been faced by the state. We are doing all that is humanly possible and rescue efforts are going on,” Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan said amid criticism from the Opposition parties that the rescue operations should have been handed over to the armed forces much earlier.
Visuals showed hundreds of people perched on rooftops, as attempts to airlift some marooned families failed. The worst flood in the state since 1924 has wrecked havoc across the coastal state, with damages estimated to be more than Rs 8,000 crore.