417 killed in Kerala floods since May

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Aug 2018 10:06:16


By Sanu George,



KERALA Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday put the number of dead in rains and floods at 417 as hundreds began returning home from relief camps, still leaving 8.69 lakh people in 2,787 shelters. Vijayan told the media that the deaths began since the monsoon rains started on May 29 but 265 of the casualties were reported from August 8 when torrential downpour triggered worst flooding in State in nearly a century.

Another 36 people were missing, he saidThe Chief Minister urged those battered by floods to submit on the Kerala Government website details of losses suffered by them. Some 7,000 houses were destroyed in the fury and around 50,000 had been partially damaged.Vijayan’s comments came as more and more people began quitting the relief camps, which at one time totalled more than 3,000, to restart lives in their previously water-logged homes.

As Friday remained sunny, water receded faster in most places that were inundated.The maximum number of people in relief camps were said to be in Alappuzha, Chengannur, Paravur, Changnacherry, Chalakudy and parts of Pathanamthitta district. “We were treated well by the camp managers. We do not know what our fate will be when we return as we have nothing except the clothes we are in,” said Thankama, a 70-year-old woman as she prepared to leave.

Finance Minister Thomas Issac said that around 5,000 volunteers were reaching the water-logged areas in and around Kuttandu.“An army of electricians, plumbers and even snake catchers are going to go around the 13 panchayats in Alappuzha district from August 28. They will clean up all houses and latest by the first week of next month all those in relief camps will be brought home,” he said. Hectic work was on to get the damaged Alappuzha-Changnacherry road to make it motorable again. To raise additional funds for the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, Issac announced a special lottery whose tickets would cost Rs 250 each. The Government hopes to raise Rs 100 crore from the lottery.

Thiruvananthapuram district Panchayat President V K Madhu said that 4,000 people from the capital district would spread over across various flood ravaged places to engage in cleaning exercises starting on Saturday. “My daughter’s marriage was fixed for the first week of next month. Now we have to start all over again as we have decided to postpone it,” said a distraught father near Chengannur.

Emirate’s ruler had offered aid to PM: Kerala CM



KERALA Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said that the reported aid of Rs 700 crore from the UAE for the flood victims was intimated to the world by the leaders of the two countries.

The Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party said earlier that the United Arab Emirates did not announce the $100 million aid for the State and asked Vijayan to reveal his source.

Vijayan told the media that the offer of aid was made by the ruler of the Emirates Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


No aid finalised for Kerala, UAE clarifies



NO SPECIFIC amount for financial aid to flood-ravaged Kerala has been finalised officially by the United Arab Emirates and there was no announcement on donation to the State, officials in UAE embassy said here on day, amid a row over the Centre deciding not to accept any foreign donations for flood relief.

UAE ambassador Ahmed Albannam, without mentioning financial aid, said his Government only set up a national emergency committee to provide relief assistance to people affected by flash floods in Kerala. “The UAE has not officially announced any financial aid for Kerala flood relief. We have not conveyed anything to India on any assistance,” said a senior official in the UAE embassy here. He said the UAE may come out with its plan in the next few days to extend assistance to flood victims.

Around three million Indians live and work in the UAE, out of which 80 per cent are from Kerala, according to official figures. On August 18, Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted that his country has formed a committee for extending help to flood affected people in Kerala.

“UAE and the Indian community will unite to offer relief to those affected. We have formed a committee to start immediately. We urge everyone to contribute generously towards this initiative,” he tweeted.