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More than 100 Dead as Rains Continue to Batter Southern and Western States; Kerala, Maharashtra Worst Hit

More than 100 Dead as Rains Continue to Batter Southern and Western States; Kerala, Maharashtra Worst Hit

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a tweet that "57 lives have been lost. There are now 1,318 flood relief camps operating across the state. These camps host 1,65,519 persons from 46,400 families".

New Delhi: The flood situation in the southern and western states continued to remain grim on Saturday with Kerala and Karnataka being the worst hit. Eighty-five people have so far lost their lives in both states while over four lakh people were evacuated in Maharashtra.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a tweet that 57 lives have been lost. "There are now 1,318 flood relief camps operating across the state. These camps host 1,65,519 persons from 46,400 families," he said, adding that 80 landslides had occurred in eight districts in the last three days.

The maximum deaths were reported from Malappuram district — 19 — while 14 lost their lives in Kozhikode and 10 in Wayanad.

One of the four shutters of the Banasurasagar dam, located about 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad, one of the worst affected districts, was opened to discharge excess water and people on the banks of the Kabini river have been asked to be cautious.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit his constituency of Wayanad, which is among the worst affected, tomorrow to get first-hand information about the rain havoc.

Karnataka also saw no let-up in rains, with 26 people losing their lives in rain-related incidents. Most rivers are in spate and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has termed the natural calamity the "biggest" in 45 years.

The state government pegged the losses caused by rains and floods at Rs 6,000 crore and Yediyurappa revealed that his government has sought Rs 3,000 crore as relief from the Centre. Officials said 26 people had lost their lives, while as many as 2.35 lakh people have been moved to safety.

A flood alert has been sounded in five villages in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu following discharge of surplus water from Pykara dam, which reached its full capacity of 96 feet due to incessant rains over the last one week.

The Indian Air Force rescued 11 people, including two infants from rain-battered Avalanchi and shifted them to Coimbatore for medical help.

In Maharashtra, 29 people have lost their lives so far even as the water level started to recede in Sangli and Kolhapur districts, the worst hit by the flood fury.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reviewed the rescue and relief operations in Sangli on Saturday and interacted with the people, assuring them all assistance.

Fadnavis attributed the flooding to "unprecedented" rainfall during this monsoon, which he said was "more than double" of what was witnessed in 2005, when many parts of the state, including large areas of Mumbai, were submerged.

At least 19 people were killed in rain-related mishaps in Gujarat on Friday night and on Saturday, including 16 deaths in incidents of wall or building collapse, as Saurashtra and central Gujarat were lashed by heavy rains.

As of Saturday morning, Gujarat had received 77.80% of annual average rainfall, with south Gujarat receiving 98.31% rainfall, Met department data showed.

(With PTI inputs)