Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urges him to “massively increase deployment of Army, Navy” in flood hit Kerala. With rains still pouring down heavily leading to flooding across Kerala, the death toll has gone up to 79 with 12 fresh deaths being reported on Thursday.
“Kerala is in great pain. I spoke to PM and requested him to massively increase deployment of the Army & Navy. I also said that it is critical that he gives the state special financial assistance as this is a tragedy without parallel in Kerala’s history,” Gandhi tweeted with hashtag IndiaStandsWithKerala.
Kerala is in great pain. I spoke to PM and requested him to massively increase deployment of the Army & Navy. I also said that it is critical that he gives the state special financial assistance as this is a tragedy without parallel in Kerala’s history. #IndiaStandsWithKerala
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 16, 2018
Pathanamthitta district in central Kerala has been the worst affected in the last 24 hours as thousands of people — students among others — were trapped in their homes in Ranni, Aranmula and Kozhencherry.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday he spoke to PM Modi regarding the severe situation in Kerala and the prime minister has assured more help. Soon, more helicopters will be deployed to aid the rescue operation.
“Very serious situation is prevailing in the state as nearly all villages are flood affected. I had a telephonic conversation with the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence minister, they have offered all support. More helicopters to be deployed soon,” said Vijayan.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has extended a financial assistance of Rs 5 crore to the flood-affected people of Kerala. Patnaik said he spoke to his Kerala counterpart and offered cooperation of the Odisha government to the flood-hit state.
Following the worsening condition, train operations between Ernakulam and Angamaly have also been stopped and at Thiruvananthapuram railway station tickets are not being issued.
The deaths on Thursday were reported from Malappuram, Kozhikode, Palakkad and Thrissur.
Parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur have been facing tough times with the dam waters from Idukki districts reaching Periyar, and its tributaries late on Wednesday.
In a first, the sluices of 33 dams across Kerala were opened on Tuesday, following incessant rains since late that day as the Met forecast more till Saturday.
The famed tourist destination in Munnar though continued to be in a bad shape, an official said.
The Sabarimala temple continued to be cut off by the river Pamba in spate.
The hilly district of Wayanad connected from Kannur and Kozhikode through a hill highway was badly hit with the overflowing Banasura Sagar dam waters creating havoc. Several landslides were reported in the area.
In Wayanad alone, more than 20,000 people have been put up in relief camps, authorities said.
The Cochin International airport was closed on Wednesday till Saturday as the Periyar river waters entered the operational area.
The airport authorities are worried about the flooding of the Rs 60-crore solar power plant — one of the biggest in an airport spread over 45 acres. They fear about its working again.
The defence forces and disaster response teams have been putting up makeshift bridges and clearing roads in the affected areas in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Idukki and Kannur districts.
The heaviest rains and floods since 1924 have caused massive destruction, leaving more than 75,000 people in relief camps and damage to crops and properties that the state estimated to be over Rs 8,000 crore.
(With agency inputs)