Subdued Onam celebrations in Kerala in the aftermath of floods

RSTV Bureau
Pathanamthitta: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a visit to a relief camp at Kozhencherry, in Pathanamthitta on Thursday, Aug 23, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Pathanamthitta: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a visit to a relief camp at Kozhencherry, in Pathanamthitta on Thursday, Aug 23, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Nature’s fury in Kerala has cast a shadow on Onam celebration in the state.

In the wake of the massive floods that have hit Kerala over the last fortnight, the spirit of the Malayali community continues to be subdued.

The death toll in Kerala floods has touched 265 since August 8 while 36 people are still missing, the latest government figures show, even as the state prepares to mount a massive rehabilitation process for the displaced.

The hilly district of Idukki, housing the largest arch dam in Asia from which waters were released for the first time in 26 years, has been hit the hardest — 51 deaths and 10 still missing, as per the latest figures released by the Disaster Management State Control Room.

With over 8.69 lakh people still in 2,287 relief camps, it is a subdued ‘Onam’, the harvest festival, in the state.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday asked people impacted by the floods to submit details of the losses they have suffered, by logging on to the Kerala government website and provide the details. He announced that Rs 10,000 would be transferred into the bank account of every person in the relief centres.

Meanwhile, Union Health Ministry of India announced on Friday that it would be allocating an additional grant of Rs 18.71 crores under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), towards the flood relief efforts in Kerala. The ministry previously sent to Kerala a number of medications, including antibiotics, and was reportedly coordinating with other states to provide medicines to the relief camps.

With some people returning home as flood waters recede but lakhs still in relief camps, the Kerala government is now taking up the task of cleaning up after the worst disaster in the state in a century, and rehabilitating the affected.