Thiruvananthapuram: The death toll in Kerala floods rose to 167, with three more deaths being reported after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in his presser on Friday morning announced that as many as 164 people died since August 9.
As per the statistics till Friday, 223000 people are being accommodated in 1568 relief camps, said Pinarayi Vijayan adding that the situation is alarming in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Thrissur, Ernakulam.
A massive rescue operation is underway by the Army, Navy, Air Force and NDRF personnel to rescue people from the low-lying areas. Even fishermen have joined them by providing their boats for the rescue operation.
The Chief Minister said that attempts will be made to rescue everyone by Friday. He informed that 11 IAF helicopters that are on standby will be sent to the ravaged areas. Two helicopters have been deployed in Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha. Additional 150 boats have arrived in the state and will be used soon for rescue operations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to reach Kerala this evening after Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral and undertake an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas tomorrow.
Though there is a slight reduction in the intensity of the rain, central Kerala is still in a ravaged state. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had informed that The weather office had informed that though rainfall would subside in Idukki and Wayanad districts, the water level in Periyar and Chalakkudy rivers had not come down.
In addition to the 18 teams of National Disaster Response Force already deployed in Kerala, 12 additional teams consisting of more than 500 personnel are being rushed to the state, said NDRF Director-General, Sanjay Kumar, adding that further 23 additional NDRF teams will be deployed soon for the rescue operations.
Giving information on train services, Ernakulam area manager of Southern Railway said that trains will be running from Ernakulam south to Thiruvananthapuram at 16.00 hrs today. People wanting to move out of Kerala could reach Thiruvananthapuram and take trains from there which will be running via Tirunveli, Dindigul and Erode.
All the districts of the state have been declared flood-affected. Completely submerged in water, the authorities of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) have said that the airport will not be operational till August 26.