January 22, 2020
Middle East

Kerala flood live: Situation unprecedented; many stranded; airport closed; death toll rises

Kerala flood situation remains precarious with water levels still rising dangerously in many rivers and people are stranded in many areas

Rescue officials assist villagers out of a flooded area following heavy monsoon rainfall, near Kochi

Kerala flood situation remains precarious with water levels still rising dangerously in many rivers and people are stranded in many areas waiting for help to arrive. Rescue operations are in full swing with army and local authorities heading efferent to secure lives and disburse aid materials to stranded people.


44 rivers in Kerala are overflowing at present
33 water reservoirs in Kerala have opened their floodgates after incessant rain in catchment areas
Death toll reaches 75, more than 70,000 people in relief camps
Red alert in all 14 districts in Kerala
Railway traffic affected in the state
One of three major airports in the state, Cochin International Airport shut down till Saturday
Holiday declared for all educational institutions in Kerala
Government has cancelled Onam celebrations

Death toll reaches 75

The flood toll in the south Indian state of Kerala jumped to 75 after 7 deaths were reported on Thursday. 25 people were reported dead on Wednesday, with more than 50,000 people seeking shelter in relief camps.

Kerala is battered by the monsoon every year but the rains have been particularly severe this season, flooding hundreds of villages and prompting the authorities to suspend flights in and out of the region.

"The situation is bad in many parts of the state and the number (of deaths) will likely increase," a senior official from the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority said.

UAE embassy helpline numbers

UAE embassy in New Delhi has requested Emiratis in India to call for assistance on 00911126111111 in case of emergencies. They can also call State Department's Call Center at 80044444, the embassy said in a tweet.

كما تدعو المواطنين للتواصل معها في الحالات الطارئة على الرقم التالي 00919087777737 أو الاتصال بمركز الاتصال التابع لوزارة الخارجية عبر الرقم 80044444، و كذلك التسجيل في خدمة تواجدي.#mofaic #kerala— UAE Consulate Kerala (@keralauaecon) August 15, 2018

Kerala helpline numbers

Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has posted the emergency helpline numbers for various districts

Red alert in all 14 states

The official added that authorities had issued a "red-alert" warning in all 14 districts of the flood-ravaged state, with heavy downpours expected over the next 24 hours in many of the worst affected areas.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office announced on Twitter that Kochi International Airport – the main gateway to the region – would be closed until Saturday "due to heavy rains and resultant flooding".

Vijayan held emergency meetings with rescue officials in the state late Wednesday and discussed the situation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The chief minister has requested the deployment of additional personnel from the Indian army, navy and other emergency forces who are already working across the state, which is home to around 33 million people.

"Our state is in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc," Vijayan said earlier this week. "The calamity has caused immeasurable misery and devastation."

Authorities have opened the gates of 34 reservoirs as water reached dangerous levels.

Vijayan's office on Wednesday said that the authorities were also worried about rising water levels in the massive Mullaperiyar dam, and urged officials in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu to release water from the reservoir.

Hundreds of villages have been flooded, more than 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) of roads and thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged across the state, officials said.

"We have asked all airlines, domestic and foreign, to reschedule their Cochin flights either from Trivandrum or from Calicut," Suresh Prabhu, India's civil aviation minister said on Twitter.

"For international flights, this will require special dispensation which has been granted considering the emergency DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) is coordinating," he added.

The US embassy last week advised Americans to avoid Kerala, which drew more than one million foreign tourists last year, according to official data.

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