Kerala Rains: Death Toll Reaches 37, More Than 50,000 Rendered Homeless

| August 12 , 2018 , 11:19 IST

Death toll from the heavy rains in Kerala reached 37 on Sunday, with more than 50,000 people being forced to take shelter in rescue camps, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority's (KSDMA) control room said.

More than half of the 14 districts in Kerala have been put on high alert as torrential rains and landslides ravaged farmlands, prompting massive evacuation efforts. According to a government official quoted by Reuters, crops worth Rs 3.42 billion across 26,824 hectares have been damaged by the rains since their onset on May 29.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi urged each and every Congress worker in Kerala to step up and help those in need.

"Unprecedented rainfall has created havoc in Kerala, destroying property and forcing thousands to abandon their homes. I urge each and every Congress worker in Kerala to step up and help those in need. My prayers and thoughts are with the people of Kerala in this difficult time," tweeted Rahul Gandhi on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit Kerala on Sunday to conduct a survey of flood affected areas and visit relief camp sites.

"Heading to Kerala to take stock of the flood situation in the state. Shall conduct a survey of the flood affected areas and also visit the relief camp sites," tweeted Rajnath Singh on Sunday.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has made a personal contribution of Rs 1 lakh to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) and in a Facebook post reached out to others, including the NRI community, to contribute to the recovery efforts.

"Kerala is experiencing an unprecedented situation due to heavy and continuous downpour and resultant floods and natural calamity. The state mechanism is effectively engaging in the damage control. We need enormous help and liberal support from the NRI community across the globe. I appeal members and collaborators of Lokakerala Sabha and Norka Roots to extend your generous support and assistance to bring back our brethren to normalcy and the flood ravaged areas to stability," said CM Vijayan.

"The state is facing an extraordinary crisis due to catastrophic natural calamities that claimed 29 lives in a span of three days. Agricultural loss alone counts to crores of rupees. Hundreds of houses were damaged. Several roads and bridges are to be reconstructed. It will take many months to bring back people and the state to normalcy. This is the moment to rise to occasion and to prove our commitment, humanity and compassion to the state and our people," he added.

On Friday, the HD Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka in a statement said that it is sending Rs 10 crore worth relief materials to Kerala. Similarly, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has also announced a contribution of Rs 5 crore to aid Kerala.

Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy on Saturday announced a relief assistance of Rs 1 crore to the Kerala government.

Makkal Needhi Maiam president and actor Kamal Haasan and Vijay Television have also announced a donation of Rs 25 lakh each to the relief fund and Haasan also asked his fans, party cadres and people of Tamil Nadu to help Kerala.