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Rains abate, flood waters recede as relief pours into Kerala

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Kerala Floods

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 20 (IANS) With the rains that battered Kerala for a week finally abating on Monday, water levels dropped in the swollen rivers even as the number of people who have taken shelter in relief camps crossed the one million mark.

A total of 10,28,000 people were now housed in 3,274 camps in the flood-hit districts, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media while tonnes of emergency aid poured in from all over the country.

Officials have so far admitted to some 370 deaths, most of them occurring after the monsoon rains turned into a fury on August 9, forcing authorities to open the sluice gates of numerous dams across the state.

Monday did see some people return to their homes from camps in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram and parts of Pathanamthitta after volunteers working selflessly helped to clean up their muddy homes.

Fifty cases of snake bites were reported in these areas as snakes from overflowing ponds had entered homes, the officials and volunteers said.

Rains in the catchment areas of the major dams in Idukki district subsided. The outflow of water from both the Mullaperiyar and Idukki dams has been reduced.

As a result, the water intake into the Periyar and its tributaries that flow through Ernakulam and Thrissur has come down considerably.

By and large the sky was clear on Monday.

On Monday, helicopters were engaged in rescue operations in places where people were still marooned — in parts of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts. Small boats helped to ferry people from interior Chengannur and Pandalam areas.

Other helicopters transported food and relief materials from here to affected areas.

Finance Minister Thomas Issac, who is overseeing the rescue operations in Kuttanadu area in Alappuzha district, said 1.25 lakh people had been moved to relief camps in the district.

Neliyamapathy in Palakkad remained cut off from the main district headquarters as the roads have been badly damaged. Essential items are being airdropped.

An Army officer said the roads would be made motorable, at least for jeeps, on Tuesday.

Waters in the Cochin airport, which was shut on August 15 after flood waters entered the operational area, receded on Monday. Small aircraft started operating from the Cochin Naval airbase.

On Monday, following a request from the Kerala government, the State Level Bankers Committee decided to provide a moratorium on agricultural loans for a year.

While seeking help was the prerogative of the Indian government, “I am here in close consultation with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to explore what help could be possible”, he tweeted.

The central government flew 100 tonnes of pulses and 52 tonnes of emergency medicines to Kerala, which is receiving donations in cash and kind from all over the country. Volunteers have also poured in from many states.

State Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran said that all those who suffered property losses would be compensated.

The railways started operations in the Kottayam and Shornur routes.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corp too began services from many depots and it was expected to be fully functional in a day or two.

Kerala has faced the heaviest rains and floods since 1924, leading to unprecedented destruction.

Indian Navy personnel carry out rescue operations in flood-hit Kerala’s Thrissur on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/DPRO)

Indian Army personnel carry out rescue operations in flood-hit Kerala’s Chengannur, on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/Twitter/@adgpi)

 Kerala floods

Mumbai: A team of Doctors leave for Kerala along with medical relief material as part of the Maharashtra Government’s initiative to help the victims of the flood-hit Kerala, in Mumbai on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Kerala Floods

Thiruvalla: Indian Air Force sets up a medical camp for flood-affected people of Thiruvalla in Kerala on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

Kerala Floods

Kochi: Passengers at the Kochi Naval Airport on Aug 20, 2018. Commercial flight operations commenced on Monday from the Naval airport of Kochi after the Cochin International Airport was shut down following heavy rains and floods in Kerala. (Photo: IANS)

Kerala Floods

Kerala: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel distribute relief material amongst flood-affected people, in Kerala on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

  • Kerala Floods

    Chengannur: Indian Army personnel carry out rescue operations in flood-hit Kerala's Chengannur, on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/Twitter/@adgpi)

  • Kerala floods

  • Kerala floods

    Mumbai: A team of Doctors leave for Kerala along with medical relief material as part of the Maharashtra Government's initiative to help the victims of the flood-hit Kerala, in Mumbai on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

  • Kerala Floods

    Thiruvalla: Indian Air Force sets up a medical camp for flood-affected people of Thiruvalla in Kerala on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

  • Kerala Floods

    Kochi: Passengers at the Kochi Naval Airport on Aug 20, 2018. Commercial flight operations commenced on Monday from the Naval airport of Kochi after the Cochin International Airport was shut down following heavy rains and floods in Kerala. (Photo: IANS)

  • Kerala Floods

    Kerala: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel distribute relief material amongst flood-affected people, in Kerala on Aug 20, 2018. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

  • Kerala Floods
  • Kerala floods
  • Kerala floods
  • Kerala Floods
  • Kerala Floods
  • Kerala Floods

Cities

2 Killed In Fire At High-Rise In Mumbai’s Andheri

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Mumbai, Nov 13 : At least two persons were killed when a fire broke out on the 10-11 floors of a building in Andheri West, late on Tuesday night, an official said.

The fire was reported around 10.10 p.m. in the middle floors of the 21-storied Kadam Nagar SRA Building on Veera Desai Road, police said.

“The fire has now been confined to electrical wiring, household articles, furniture in a flat on the 10th floor and in some portion of a flat on the 11th floor,” a fire official said.

At least 10 firetenders and other specialised equipment were rushed to the scene to battle the fire.

Rescuers managed to retrieve two victims who were taken to a hospital and were declared dead, said the BMC Disaster Control.

Details of the cause of the fire and the victims’ identity were not immediately available.

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UP cabinet ratifies name change of Allahabad, Faizabad

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Lucknow, Nov 13 : The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday ratified the renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya and Allahabad as Prayagraj district, an official spokesman said.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, also decided that the Faizabad division would now be known as Ayodhya division and the Allahabad division as Prayagraj.

The cabinet also approved the tabling of the report of the Judicial Commission that probed the death of 25 persons in a stampede at Rajghat bridge in Varanasi in October 2016.

The cabinet also approved a proposal to award the Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Award of Merit to good teachers of the financially unaided schools of the state.

There are 19,275 such schools in the state and under the award scheme, one teacher each from every division would be given Rs 25,000.

The cabinet also fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of maize at Rs 1,700 per quintal and okayed Rs 20 as carrying charges in addition to the MSP.

The procurement would be conducted in 20 districts and a budget of Rs 214.90 crore has been fixed for buying one lakh metric tonnes.

An Amendment (Fifth) in the rule book of the Medical University Service was also made, paving the way for the post of Assistant Professor in place of Lecturer.

The cabinet also approved the transfer of 48.03 square meters of land at the government polytechnic on Faizabad road in Lucknow to the Lucknow Metro and acquisition of 130 buildings around the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi for the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project.

166 houses have already been acquired. The government has earmarked Rs 413 crore for this, of which Rs 190 crore has been sanctioned.

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Minor found dead in Manipur observation home

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Imphal, Nov 13: A minor who was arrested in connection with the death of a girl was found hanging from a ceiling fan at a government-run observation home in Manipur on Tuesday, police said.

Police sources said that the minor, a Class 12 student, was arrested on October 13 from Thoubal district.

He was remanded in the observation home, run by the social welfare department of the Manipur government.

He allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in the home. L. Manojkumar, Superintendent of the home, said the home was not responsible for the incident.

However, Yumkhaibam Lembi, the deceased’s mother, said: “My son was pressurised to confess to his involvement in the death of the girl. He was innocent.

“He had told the court that he was tortured inside the home to make him confess to the crime he did not commit,” she said.

There were protests at the home by the minor’s relatives. Police was rushed there to maintain law and order.

Security was also beefed up in the localities where the minor and the girl lived, fearing lawlessness.

IANS

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