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Will Migration Still Act as Indemnification?

Kerala’s Flood Disaster

In the event of devastating floods in Kerala, what would be the impact on migration and remittances, and what role can the diaspora play in the reconstruction of the state? Migration, as a livelihood strategy, is expected to increase in the aftermath of floods as people try to mitigate economic loss and uncertainty.

Kerala has been battered by torrential rain and consequent flooding. With an average of 1,844.8 millimetres (mm) during August 2018, rainfall had been exceptionally high, about 170% above the normal range. This was one of the worst natural disasters in the state’s history, claiming about 483 human lives and affecting 775 villages. Furthermore, the flood caused damage to 1,186 houses fully and 19,588 houses partially, apart from damage to infrastructure, electricity, and roads (NDMA 2018). Until now, there is no official estimate of the losses caused to flood-hit Kerala. In addition to the immediate loss of life and property, the flood has affected and displaced more than 5 lakh people, who are now being rehabilitated.

The local people in the affected regions themselves were the first to engage in the relief and rescue operations. Soon, the state government deployed state police and fire forces. Assistance was provided by local fisherfolk and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and the union government’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), air force, army, navy and other central government ministry/departments) immediately after the floods for rescue and search operations, which were followed by distribution of relief materials. In fact, the fisherfolk rescued more persons than the army, navy, state and central forces. The relief efforts were complemented by other state governments, foreign governments like those of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, public and private sectors, and international organisations. Malayali diaspora spread over the world is also contributing to help rebuild the state.

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Updated On : 7th Sep, 2018

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