Kerala, August 17: As India celebrated its 71st Independence Day on Aug. 15, the southern coastal state of Kerala was being ravaged by the worst floods in nearly 100 years.

Here are 10 numbers that show the intensity of the devastation in the state:

915% more rainfall

…than usual received by Kerala on Independence Day. Over the past seven days, the state has received 257% excess rainfall.

14 districts

…which is the entire state, are on red alert. All of Kerala’s 44 rivers are overflowing.

A drowning man being rescued on the outskirts of Kochi, Kerala, on Aug. 16, 2018.

256 dead

…since the rains began in May. This includes over 20 lives lost on Aug. 15 alone. The search for missing people is currently on.

1,65,000 people

…have been shifted to 1,155 relief camps. Five days ago, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the floods have destroyed 20,000 houses, a number which has been growing since then. Makeshift relief camps are also cropping up while victims await food, water, medicines, and electricity to charge their phones.

10,000 kilometres

…of roads are damaged, Vijayan has said. The sluice gates of 35 out of Kerala’s 39 dams have been opened. The state electricity board switched off 4,000 transformers to prevent electrocution.

The Athirampally falls in Thrissur district on Aug. 13. The region is on a high alert with schools and offices being closed due to the rising water levels of River Periyar after the gates of the Idukki reservoir were opened.

$1.19 billion

…or Rs 8,316 crore was the preliminary estimate of the state’s loss as on Aug. 12. The state is spending an additional Rs3,000 crore ($428 million) on immediate relief measures. Kerala sought Rs1,220 crore from Narendra Modi’s central government as immediate relief, but for now has been allotted only Rs100 crore ($14 million).

211 landslides

…were reported from across the state till last week.

30 teams

…from the National Disaster Relief Force, 24 from the Indian Navy, 13 columns of the Indian Army, and 10 teams of the Indian Coast Guardare engaged in search and rescue operations, along with other emergency responders. The Indian Air Force has airlifted 340 individuals, many of them from rooftops of flooded buildings.

Rescue workers evacuate people on the outskirts of Kochi on Aug. 16, 2018.

20 aircraft

…and over 50 boats have till now been deployed by the defence ministry for relief work.

82 tourists

…were stranded inside a bus in Munnar district in central Kerala. Hundreds of students are stranded at the Sree Sankarcharya University of Sanskrit in Ernakulam district.


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Mumbai (PTI): BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Friday rejected claims that the Board has approached any former Australian cricketer to be India's next head coach and hinted that Rahul Dravid's successor could be an Indian by saying that he should have a "deep understanding" of the game's structure in the country.

While Dravid has reportedly told the board that he is not interested in a third stint, former Australian players like Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer have claimed that they have turned down approaches for the high-profile position.

"Neither I nor the BCCI have approached any former Australian cricketer with a coaching offer. The reports circulating in certain media sections are completely incorrect," Shah said in a statement.

Both Ponting and Langer are involved in the Indian Premier League as the head coaches of Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants respectively. World Cup-winning former batting star Gautam Gambhir, who is currently mentoring Kolkata Knight Riders, is speculated to be among the top contenders for the post right now.

"Finding the right coach for our national team is a meticulous and thorough process. We are focused on identifying individuals who possess a deep understanding of the Indian cricket structure and have risen through the ranks," Shah said.

The BCCI secretary also said that having in-depth knowledge of Indian domestic cricket will be one of the important criteria for appointing the next coach. He said the understanding would be crucial to "truly elevate Team India to the next level."

Ponting had claimed on Thursday that he was approached to take over the role but said that he declined as it did not fit with his "lifestyle" right now.

Ponting told ICC review, "I've seen a lot of reports about it. Normally these things pop up on social media before you even know about them, but there were a few little one-on-one conversations during the IPL, just to get a level of interest from me as to whether I would do it."

"I'd love to be a senior coach of a national team, but with the other things that I have in my life and wanting to have a bit of time at home…everyone knows if you take a job working with the Indian team you can't be involved in an IPL team, so it would take that out of it as well," he said.

Taking up the job of coaching India also implies spending 10-11 months away from home but Ponting said his family seemed ready for it.

"...I had a whisper to my son about it, and I said, 'Dad's been offered the Indian coaching job' and he said, 'Just take it, dad, we would love to move over there for the next couple of years'" he said.

"That's how much they love being over there and the culture of cricket in India, but right now it probably doesn't exactly fit into my lifestyle," Ponting said.

Meanwhile, Langer, who had remained noncommittal about applying for India coaching role after IPL clash between LSG and Mumbai Indians, said he would "never say never" but at the same time revealed receiving crucial advice from Lucknow skipper KL Rahul.

Langer told BBS Stumped Podcast, ”It would be an amazing job. I also know that it's an all-encompassing role, and having done it for four years with the Australian team, honestly, it's exhausting. And that's the Australian job.”

"You never say never. And the pressure of doing it in India… I was talking to KL Rahul and he said, 'You know, if you think there's pressure and politics in an IPL team, multiply that by a thousand, (that is) coaching India. That was a good bit of advice, I guess,” Langer said.

"It would be an awesome job, but not for me at the moment,” he added.

Former England and current Royal Challengers Bengaluru head coach Andy Flower had also ruled himself out of the race saying he is happy being involved in franchise cricket for now.

Chennai Super Kings chief executive Kasi Viswanathan has done the same for Stephen Fleming claiming the former New Zealand captain won't be keen on taking a job which requires him to work 'nine-ten months a year'.

Shah described the position of India's head coach as the most prestigious job in international cricket, saying it demands high level of professionalism given the kind of support the national side enjoys.

"When we talk about international cricket, no role is more prestigious than that of the Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. Team India commands the largest fan base globally, enjoying support that is truly unrivalled," he said.

"Our rich history, passion for the game make this one of the most lucrative jobs in the world. The role demands a high level of professionalism as one gets to nurture some of the best cricketers in the world and an assembly line of talented cricketers to follow.

"Catering to the aspirations of a billion fans is a huge honour and the BCCI will pick the right candidate, capable of propelling Indian cricket forward," Shah added.