Kerala flood situation : More rain and more deaths as Centre prepares massive operations

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 16 Aug 2018

Thiruvanthapuram/Kochi/New Delhi, Aug 16 (IBNS) : The flood situation in Kerala remained critical as rains continued to pour pour down heavily leading to flooding of dams and rivers and triggering fresh landslides causing 12 fresh deaths on Thursday and forced collapse of the public transport system and train services  in many areas and suspension of Kochi metro , media reports said.

According to reports, the situation, prompted the Centre to launch a massive flood rescue and relief operation in Kerala by mobilising the  Army, Navy, IAF, Coast Guard and NDRF for additional manpower, boats and helicopters.

At the instruction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet Secretary chaired a high-level meeting in New Delhi in this regard.

Among the latest victims were five persons, killed in a landslide in Palakkad district. With 12 fresh deaths, the toll in the flood related incidents over the past eight days.The met office said the rain is likely to continue till Saturday.

Responding to the situation, the worst in Kerala in nearly a century,Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Thursday, asked the Defence Ministry to further step up relief and rescue operations across the state.  He also spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan again in the morning.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre is rushing additional National Defence Relief Force personnel to assist in the relief work that has been going on war footing.

“Had a telephonic conversation with Kerala Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan regrading the prevailing flood situation in the state. The Centre is rushing additional NDRF teams to Kerala. We are providing all possible assistance. I am in constant touch with Kerala CM,” Singh tweeted.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she has instructed the Defence Secretary to respond immediately to Kerala CM’s request for more boats and life jackets.

“Call received from @santhoshbjp and Hon. MP @ShobhaBJP seeking help of @adgpi and @IAF_MCC for relief work in #KeralaFloods. Assured them that instructions are for extending immediate help. Every help,” she tweeted.

Expressing his concern over the situation, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to massive increase of deployment of defence personnel for relief and rescue operations in the state.  ” 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,” he tweeted.

According to reports, rise in flood waters in Periyar river due to continuous rains and opening of all shutters of all major dams including Mullaperiyar, Cheruthoni, part of Idukki reservoir, and Idamalayar, have severely affected the daily lives of people in areas downstream.

Water levels rising in many residential areas in and around Aluva, Eloor, Kalamassery. People giving out SOS alerts.

The floods have affected the transport system to the Kochi city.

“Due to rise in water level at Bridge No 176 on Downline between Angamali and Aluva, The services on this bridge is suspended,” a Southern railway spokesman said in a statement.

The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) also suspended its operations this morning after its yard in Muttom near Aluva submerged in the flood waters.

“Kochi Metro train operation is suspended as the water level rises in Muttom yard area,” a KMRL statement said.

Bus services to Kochi were also affected after National Highways connecting the city submerged in Kalamassery area, officials said.

Cochin International Airport had on Wednesday suspended all flight operations till Saturday as water entered in the airport area following continuous rains and the opening of dam shutters in Periyar river.

The reports said the national highway at Aluva near metro station flooded. Road connectivity with Ernakulam may be snapped, if the situation continues. Another report said water from Meenachil havs started entering settlements on the banks of the river in Kottayam while traffic through Nadukani Ghat road connecting Nilambur with Gudallur region disrupted due to landslip.

National Disaster Response Force has evacuated  926 people to safer place so far at Pathamithitta, Kozzhikode, Ernakulam, Thrissur & Alappuzha.

Another report said 82 tourists were stranded inside a bus in Munnar. All routes are either flooded, or blocked due to mudslides

Source: https://www.indiablooms.com/health-details/E/3821/kerala-flood-situation-more-rain-and-more-deaths-as-centre-prepares-massive-operations.html

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