Relief and rehabilitation efforts in flood-ravaged Kerala picked more pace on Friday even as an extensive operation continued to rescue thousands of people marooned in the state’s four severely flood-hit districts.
Reinforcements were called to step up rescue operations while more than 3.14 lakh people continued to live in 2,094 relief camps across the state. The official death toll since August 8 is 164 but unverified estimates, as the day ended, put the figure at about 180.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to arrive in Thiruvananthapuram in the night, will take an aerial survey of the flood-hit regions on Saturday.
Chengannur in Alappuzha district, Chalakudy in Thrissur district, Aluva in Ernakulam district and parts of Pathanamthitta district remained severely affected. Tens of thousands were rescued from the flooded regions on Friday while reports on stranded people, including ailing people and pregnant women, running out of food and water emerged. Pandalam town in Pathanamthitta district was flooded.
Worst flood in 100 years
“Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years. 80 dams opened, 324 lives lost (since May 29) and 2,23,139 people are in about 1500+ relief camps. Your help can rebuild the lives of the affected,” the Chief Minister’s Office said in a tweet.
Fresh reports of flooding came in from the upper Kuttanad region. Improved weather helped rescue operations in many areas.
Distress calls continued to pour in from the four worst-hit districts as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought more helicopters from the Centre to aid the ongoing rescue operations. Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and apprised them of the situation.
Train and bus services across the state continued to be affected. Provisions and relief materials were being collected through mass relief drives in different parts of the state. The Indian Navy said it was rushing fleet replenishment tanker INS Deepak from Mumbai to Kochi with eight lakh litres of drinking water.
The India Meteorological Department said the intensity of rainfall over Kerala, Karnataka and the ghat areas of Tamil Nadu had started reducing from Friday. Peerumed in Idukki district recorded the day’s biggest rainfall, at 19 cm.