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KERALA FLOODS A TIMELINE

Since May 2018, unusually high levels of rain took over the state of Kerala. The devastation that ensued resembled that of the Great Flood of 99, costing several lives. As of August 30, the final death toll, declared by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, stands at 483, and 15 people are missing.

The following timeline outlines some of the key events of the 2018 Kerala floods.

AUGUST 8

  • Kerala received rainfall of 310mm over 24 hours.
  • Shutters of Neyyar dam rose to 5 inches from 4.
  • Chalakuddy river overflowed.
  • Central government team visited flood-hit regions of Kuttanad, Upper Kuttanad.
  • Crop loan moratorium of one year announced for farmers of Kuttanad.
  • Over 20 landslides reported in Kannur district. Hundreds of families left isolated.

AUGUST 9

  • 24 dams across the state opened.
  • Idukki dam’s first gate opened. Reservoir’s gate has not opened in 26 years.
  • Shutters of Idamalayar dam opened for the first time in 5 years.
  • Landslides reported in Malappuram, Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode and Palakkad districts.
  • Red Alert issued in Wayanad.
  • 15 NDRF men with a chopper reached Wayanad. A further 5 choppers (3 from Air force, 1 from Coast Guard, and 1 from Navy) were deployed.
  • Parts of Nilambur were evacuated, and situation worsens in Kuttanad.

AUGUST 10

  • Half of Kerala declared flood-hit.
  • 10,000 people evacuated.
  • All 5 gates of Idukki-Cheruthoni dam opened.
  • Kochupampa dam also opened.
  • 80 Army personnel from Madras Regiment deployed for rescue and relief missions for tourists in Pallivasal, Idukki.
  • Flood alerts in Kuttanad, Chengannur, Karthikappally Taluks.
  • ATMs and banks closed in flood-hit areas.
  • Navy and NDRF reached Ernakulam.
  • Drinking water crisis in Kochi, as the supply from Aluva was down by 20%.
  • Thiruvananthapuram airport geared up, as Cochin International airport shut down.

AUGUST 11

  • Idukki dam level reached 2400.18 feet.
  • Banasura Sagar dam opened.
  • Upper Kuttanad experienced heavy downpour.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan undertook aerial survey of affected regions, appealing to all to donate generously to Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund
  • IMD issued Red Alerts across 8 districts.

AUGUST 12

  • Red Alert remained in place for all 8 districts.
  • Number of houses destroyed reached 20,000.
  • Low-pressure formation powerful over Odisha coast, and rain forecasted for 2 more days.
  • Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, took an aerial survey of Ernakulam and Idukki districts of Kerala, asserting that the situation is “very serious”.
  • Taking to Twitter, the minister announced immediate release of Rs 100 crore.
  • Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, said preliminary assessments indicated that total loss due to flooding is worth Rs 8,316 crores.
  • CM urged Indian government to sanction a special package within 4 weeks time.

AUGUST 13

  • 302 relief camps were set up.
  • Landslides reported in 5 districts.
  • Water level in Idukki dam receded, standing at 2397.94 feet. Full reservoir level of dam is 2,404 feet.
  • External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, declared all damaged passports will be replaced for free.

AUGUST 14

  • Red Alerts remained in place in 7 districts.
  • All gates of Idukki dam opened.
  • Walayar and Mattuppetti dams also opened.
  • Water level stood at 2,397 feet at Idukki-Cheruthoni dam and reached 138 feet at Mullapperiyar dam.
  • Kerala government cancelled official Onam celebrations.
  • State government granted Rs 1,000 crores for first phase reconstructions.
  • Rescue website: keralarescue.in launched.
  • Pampa river experienced its worst floods in half a century.
  • Munnar town isolated.
  • 52 units of Defence Forces employed.

AUGUST 15

  • Following heavy rains, gates of 35 dams in the state opened. It is the first time in history where all five gates of Idukki dam opened.
  • Government issued an alert before opening gates of Mullaperiyar dam when water levels reached 140-foot mark.
  • Idukki district administration relocated over 4,000 people to relief camps.
  • At least eight people killed in Malappuram owing to a house collapsing.
  • Kochi airport shut until August 18.

AUGUST 16

  • Idukki endured 84% extra rain.
  • Tamil Nadu government declined Kerala's request to reduce water level at Mullapperiyar dam to 139 feet.
  • Water levels at Idukki and Mullapperiyar dams reached 2402.2 feet and 141.95 feet respectively.
  • Neyyar dam opened for the first time in decades.
  • Landslides in 87 places across the state leaving hundreds isolated.
  • CM suspended his medical trip to US.
  • Onam holidays rescheduled from August 16 - 29.
  • 130 fishermen, in 60 boats, reached flood-hit areas from Vizhinjam.
  • Self-governing bodies requested to work 24/7.
  • Situation worsened in Idukki.
  • Upper Kuttanad flooded.
  • Wayanad Churam blocked.
  • Public transport system halted in several parts of the state.
  • Southern Railways and Kochi Metro suspended operations due to floods. The Kochi Metro Rail (KMRL) also ceased its operations following flooding of its yard in Muttom.
  • Supply of drinking water in Ernakulam discontinued.
  • All government doctors requested to serve at relief camps.
  • In a tweet, the Prime Minister summoned the Defence Ministry to intensify its rescue operations.
  • 3 IPS officers appointed to coordinate rescue operations in Pathanamthitta district.
  • 40 more units of NDRF appointed.
  • NDRF evacuated 926 people to safer places at Pathanamthitta, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Alappuzha.
  • Navy's Marine Commandos deployed.
  • 2 ships of the Coast Guard moves to Cochin.
  • Cauvery river surpassed the danger mark.
  • Army constructed a 35-feet-long bridge to rescue around 100 people from Valiyakadu village in Malampuzha.
  • More fishermen join rescue missions.
  • Total number of disaster management teams reached 220.
  • 12 people died in total from Malappuram, Kozhikode, Palakkad and Thrissur. In Palakkad, 5 people died in a landslide.
  • All tourist activities halted in Idukki. 82 tourists left stranded in a bus in Munnar, as routes were flooded and blocked by mudslides.

AUGUST 17

  • Temporary health centres opened in all affected areas.
  • 150,000 homes abandoned in Kuttanad.
  • 82,442 individuals rescued.
  • 142,000 people were in 416 relief camps in Ernakulam district.
  • 80,757 people placed in 500 relief camps in Alappuzha district.
  • Kerala State Electricity Board switched off almost 4,000 transformers across the state, disrupting power supply over past 24 hours.
  • Thousands left stranded in Thiruvalla, Chengannur, Chalakkudy, Kalady.
  • Red Alert remained in Idukki and Kottayam districts.
Express Illustration
  • Kochi Naval Airport opened for civil aviation.
  • 400 fishing boats from Thiruvananthapuram joined rescue ops.
  • Chalakkudy river reached 16 feet.
  • Indian Coast Guard rescued 1,342 stranded people, guiding a further 4,240 to safer areas. 18 rescue and relief teams deployed for rescue missions.
  • 12 additional Army boats announced.
  • 5 units of NDRF made their way to Thiruvananthapuram for rescue operations.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced he will take a tour of Kerala to assess situation.

AUGUST 18

  • 58,506 people rescued, however, 388 individuals were reported missing.
  • Donations to the CM's relief fund surpassed Rs 112 crore.
  • 14 deaths reported each in Alappuzha and Ernakulam.
  • Mullapperiyar dam reached 141 feet.
  • Idukki dam stood at 2,402 feet.
  • PM held a high-level meeting in Kochi and planned to conduct an aerial survey of the affected region.
  • PM declared an urgent relief of Rs 500 crore for rescue ops.
  • Fisheries Ministry opened control room in Chengannur.
  • Garud commandos deployed in Chengannur, and airdropping of food intensified.
  • Fishermen from across the state came together to rescue those in need. They successfully rescued people from areas where airlifting had failed earlier.
  • Water Authority opened 24/7 emergency water supply.
  • Ernakulam-Ankamaly road blocked, and district borders between Ernakulam and Thrissur washed off.
  • Situation in Chalakkudy, Paravur, Mala, Aluva, Kalady remained critical.

AUGUST 19

  • Red Alerts withdrawn from all districts where it was in place.
  • Rainfall weakened across the state. However, IMD predicted strong winds by the coasts, and rough seas over the south, central and northwest Arabian Sea. Fishermen advised not to go out to sea in these areas.
  • 8 deaths reported in Thrissur district.
  • CM confirmed rescue missions are in the final stage, and seeks a change of priority to rehabilitation missions.
  • People still stranded in Paravur.
  • In Chengannur, situation eased.
  • 90% of Kuttanad residents evacuated.
  • Water receded in Ranni, Konni, Kozhancherry and parts of Pathanamthitta district.
  • Road and rail transportation services resumed.
  • For the first time since the 1924 floods, water level at Vembanadu lake touched 90cm.

AUGUST 20

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