As death toll nears 400, Centre declares Kerala floods 'calamity of severe nature'

WION Web Team
Delhi, India Published: Aug 20, 2018, 07:24 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Officials predict cleaning of the flood-hit houses, rehabilitation, and prevention of water-borne diseases as some of thepossible outbreak of disease biggest challenges.

The union home ministry on Monday declared the Kerala floods "a calamity of severe nature". 

"Keeping in view the intensity and magnitude of the floods and landslides in Kerala, this is a calamity of a severe nature for all practical purposes," a home ministry official said.

Unabated rainfall prompted Kerala authorities to open shutters of as many as 33 dams and reservoirs across the state, leading to massive flooding in its rivers. 

The destructive deluge has claimed nearly 400 lives so far with over 7 lakh people displaced and homeless, taking shelter in more than 5,000 relief camps. 

On Monday, authorities and teams involved in rescue and relief mission turned towards rehabilitation work as the state witnessed relief from heavy rainfall.

Flood water receded in many areas on Monday, however, reports suggest some areas are still cut-off and rescuers are trying to reach the stranded. 

Kerala received rainfall that was more than 40 per cent greater than normal for the monsoon season, which runs from June to September. Over the past 10 days, the state witnessed torrential rainfall.

Officials predict cleaning of the flood-hit houses, rehabilitation, and prevention of water-borne diseases as some of the biggest challenges ahead.  

Union Health Minister JP Nadda stated that the authorities are now bracing for any possible outbreak of diseases ensuring that medical essentials and drugs are easily available.

"There is a requirement for 90 different medicines and the first instalment has reached," he added.

Kerala's Health Minister KK Shailaja on Monday stated that the priority right now is health and sanitation. 


"The Chief Minister has spoken to us and we've discussed the situation at hand, our priority right now is health and sanitation. We have all the resources required to help the people and we also urge them to come forward if they find any issue related to the same," Shailaja noted. 

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last week described the calamity as one of the biggest to have hit the state in the last 100 years. The Supreme Court also termed the deluge "very grave".



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