Thiruvananthapuram/Bengaluru: With the rains abating in parts of Kerala, water receded in many low-lying areas of the flood-hit State on Thursday while in Karnataka there was widespread rain in coastal and Malnad areas, as the toll rose to 170 with 48 still missing in the two states.
Over five lakh people have been housed in around 2,000 relief camps in the two states. Bringing cheer to rain-battered people and authorities engaged in relief and rescue operations, there was no 'red alert' warning in any of the 14 districts of Kerala as the intensity of rains decreased and the state began to return to normalcy.
As per the latest government update, 108 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by the second spell of monsoon since August 8, while 34 people are missing. The flood situation has improved considerably in Karnataka, where the toll has gone up to 62 with the recovery of one more body, according to officials.
While 14 persons are still classified as missing, nearly seven lakh people have been evacuated till date. "Flood situation has improved considerably, people in relief camps have started returning to their homes," an official release said on Thursday.
In Kerala, search operations continued at Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Wayanad, where a series of landslides had wiped out two villages last week, to trace those who were feared to have been buried alive.
It was comparatively a sunny day at Puthumala, where earth-movers and sniffer dogs were engaged in tracing the missing people. Drones were engaged in search operations at Kavalappara.
An 'orange alert' (isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall) was sounded in northern districts of Kannur and Kasaragod on Thursday while 'yellow alert' (heavy rainfall) has been issued in Idukki, Kannur and Kasaragod for Friday, IMD authorities said.
According to officials, though people have started shifting to their homes in many places, there are 1,82,600 people still sheltered in 1,029 relief camps. Northern Malapuram district accounted for most deaths with toll there rising to 45 on Thursday and 26 people still missing, followed by Kozhikode (17) and Wayanad (12 deaths, 7 missing), it said.
One person is reported missing in Kottayam. As per a government update, 11,901 houses have been partially damaged and 1,115 fully damaged. The state government has announced a package of flood compensation with an immediate financial aid of up to Rs 10,000 each to all calamity-hit families.
Showcasing a rare model of humanism, a mosque in north Kerala has offered its prayer hall to perform autopsy of the people who were killed in a massive landslide at a nearby village last week.
In Karnataka, joint rescue teams comprising Fire and Emergency, SDRF, NDRF and Army have evacuated 6.97 lakh people as on Thursday. There was isolated and scattered rain in North interior Karnataka while coastal and Malnad regions experienced widespread rain, officials said.
As many as 943 relief camps are operational, where clean drinking water, food and other relief materials are being provided to 3,57,243 people housed in them. According to the government, 103 taluks in 22 districts have been affected by floods and incessant rains in the past few days, resulting in loss of agriculture and horticulture crops on 5.35 lakh hectares and damaging 71,234 houses.