A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
In the month of August 2018, the State of Kerala received very heavy rainfall, which led to unprecedented flooding throughout the state. As of mid-August, a total of 2,346.3 mm of rainfall had fallen on Kerala instead of an average of 1649.55mm.The most affected district was Idukki, which received more rain than any other, almost double what is expected for the season. The district of Palakkad followed as the second most affected, receiving 72 per cent more rain than average. The unprecedented rainfall, coupled with ensuing floods and landslides, brought Kerala to a standstill during most of the month of August.
All 80 dams across Kerala were forced to release excess flood waters in order to prevent damage. The Idukki Arc Dam, one of the biggest in Asia, opened its gates for the first time in 26 years. This in turn perhaps amplified the effect of the heavy rains already had, resulting in 13 out of the total 14 districts of the state being affected by serious floods. The impact on Kerala’s population was significant. In total, it is estimated that 23 million people were affected. It was reported that 504 people died, and 3.4 million people were hosted in 12,300 emergency shelters and relief camps at some point.
Additionally, 10,319 houses were completely destroyed and over 100,000 houses suffered partial damaged, leaving more than 220,000 people homeless. The flooding also damaged 83,000 kilometres of roads, including 10,000 kilometres of which are major roads. In addition, 60,000 hectares of agricultural crops destroyed. In total, the economic losses are estimated at INR 27,000 crore (Source- Kerala Floods Joint Detailed Need Assessment Report- Sphere India), 1. Following the launch of its first domestic appeal in response to the Kerala floods the Indian Red Cross received significant financial and in-kind contributions from different Movement partners, private companies and general public, as well as through local resource mobilization at the branch level in several states.
It is important to note that heavy rains affected many other states in India, since the onset of the Monsoon in June 2018.
Although floods affected many areas on a small or medium scale, some states were hit particularly hard by intense floods and landslides. The IRCS was therefore forced to respond and provide assistance to affected people in multiple states at once.