3.53 lakh affected, rescue work continues in rain-hit Kerala

The rainfall intensity over Kerala has decreased over the past two days, the meteorology department said today, adding that there is no alert of heavy precipitation for the next four days in the state.
The authorities have said that the floods in Kerala have left 357 people dead since May 29, when the south-west monsoon hit the southern state. Over 3.53 lakh people are in 3,026 relief camps across Kerala after the rains savaged the state.
More than 15,000 people have been evacuated from floods and heavy rains affected areas of Kerala till now and rescue operations have been stepped up in a number of badly-affected locations, the NDRF said today.
The state recorded 9 cm of rainfall, according to India Meteorological Department’s Additional Director General Mritunjay Mohapatra.
On August 16 and 17, the state recorded 19 cm and 11 cm of rainfall respectively, he said. “Over the past three days, we have seen a gradual decrease in rainfall in the state,” a PTI report quoted Mohapatra as saying.
The IMD reportedly said it is expecting “heavy rainfall” only in Kozhikode, Kannur and Idduki districts.
Kerala has been battered by “exceptionally high seasonal rainfall” since August 1, leading to nearly half of the state submerged.
Idukki has reported the maximum number of deaths, with 43 people losing their lives since August 8, according to official estimates. The total number of deaths has touched 197 in the state during the second spell of monsoon fury.
Many people are stranded in their homes and other shelters in Alapuzha, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts, reported PTI.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and NDRF personnel are carrying out rescue operations. Hundreds of fishermen have also been engaged in the operations, the report said.
Kerala Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar reportedly said more than two lakh people are in relief camps in Thrissur district. The Kochi international airport has been closed till August 26 following flooding of the runway and other airport areas.
“There is no red or amber colour code warning for any district today. For tomorrow, the colour warning is green,” Mohapatra was quoted as saying.
The IMD has four colour codes to signify the intensity of weather. Red means authorities need to take action and one could expect extreme weather conditions, amber means government agencies need to be prepared to handle exigencies.
Yellow colour code means situation needs to be watched while green signals the weather would be normal.
The IMD reportedly said rainfall recorded by the state was 2,346.6 cm, against the normal precipitation of 1,649.5 cm.

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