The death toll due to the devastating rains and floods in Kerala increased to 370, as two more deaths were reported on Sunday with rescue operations continuing in the worst affected districts of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur.
Authorities also withdrew the red alert which was issued in these three districts and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday predicted moderate rains in a few districts of the state.
The worst affected places where people have remained stranded for the past three days without food or water include Chengannur, Pandalam, Thiruvalla, several areas in Pathanamthitta district and in Ernakulam’s Aluva, Angamaly and Paravur.
But there were reports of fresh rains from these places resulting in a decrease in the water levels.
Meanwhile, a group of stranded fishermen who came to help with the rescue work in Alapuzzha from the state capital complained over the lack of coordination between authorities.
“We rescued several people but now there is no one to help us return to where we came from with our boats. We risked our lives in the rescue work but now there’s no help for us,” the group said.
V Sateeshan, a Congress legislator from Paravur, Ernakulam, slammed the state Health Ministry over its failure to send relief teams.
In response, Health Minister K Shailaja said that although the water level has come down in many areas, medical facilities might not have reached certain regions due to the magnitude of the crisis.
“This is because medical professionals found it difficult to reach the affected areas and by now it has been almost resolved. We need a huge quantity of medicines. A major health drive is being
planned to prevent communicable diseases,” the minister said. She added that medical teams from neighbouring states will arrive soon.
Kerala is facing the heaviest rains and consequent widespread floods and destruction since 1924, which the state estimates has caused a loss of over Rs 19,500 crore.