At a time when Kerala is reeling under the worst bout of monsoon rain in a Century, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested him to massively increase the deployment of the Army and Navy in the state.
Referring to the situation in the flood-ravaged state as ‘a tragedy without parallel’, the Congress president tweeted, “Kerala is in great pain. I spoke to the Prime Minister and requested him to massively increase deployment of the Army and 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 also urged people to help by contributing to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s relief fund. He had tagged the link for the same to his tweet.
“I am deeply concerned for the people of #Kerala tonight, as the flood waters rise. Thousands are stranded. Relief camps full. Many have lost their loved ones. It’s time to step up & help. Please contribute generously to the CM’s relief fund. Use this link: https://donation.cmdrf.kerala.gov.in.,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had informed that the situation prevailing in the state is very serious as nearly all villages are flood affected.
The chief minister also claimed that the water level in the Periyar and Chalakudy rivers will rise and people living within a one kilometre-radius must rehabilitate immediately.
He further underscored that more helicopters will be deployed soon to expedite the rescue operations in the flood-hit state.
“Very serious situation is prevailing in the state as nearly all villages are flood affected. I had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister, they have offered all support. More helicopters to be deployed soon,” Vijayan said.
Kerala has been witnessing incessant rains since past few days, causing flooding and landslide in the state. So far, at least 73 people have lost their lives in the havoc.
As the flood situation is getting worse by the day, the Centre has launched massive rescue and relief operations in the state.
Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been asked to mobilise additional manpower, boats and helicopters to scale up the rescue and relief operations. Food packets and drinking water are also being rushed.
Twelve more teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) – six from Delhi and six from Gandhinagar – are being airlifted to Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. 18 teams are already deployed in the state.
Earlier, NDRF teams evacuated 926 persons to a safer place at Pathanamthitta, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Alappuzha. Army also built a 35-feet long bridge and rescued around 100 people including children and senior citizens from Malampuzha’s Valiyakadu village.
The Indian Coast Guard has also mobilised 10 teams to assist District Disaster Management Authority in evacuating people from the flood-affected areas.
The Coast Guard relief teams have been placed at Pathanamthitta, Munanbam, Aranmula, Idukki, Ferok-Calicut, and Alleppey respectively whereas two relief teams each have been dispatched for Aluva and Chengannur. The teams are equipped with Gemini Boats for evacuating the stranded people especially women, children and senior citizens.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the Kerala Chief Minister to discuss flood situation in the state.
Prime Minister Modi had also asked the Defence Ministry to step up the rescue and relief operations across the state.