The death toll from heavy rains and catastrophic landslide in Kerala rose to 21 on Sunday with hard-hit areas of Kottayam and Idukki districts reeling from the devastation. As heavy rains pounded south and central Kerala causing flash floods and landslides in many parts of the state, defence forces stepped in along with NDRF teams to rescue the several missing persons.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he spoke to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and took stock of the situation. “Spoke to Kerala CM Shri @vijayanpinarayi and discussed the situation in the wake of heavy rains and landslides in Kerala. Authorities are working on the ground to assist the injured and affected. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Centre will provide all possible assistance to the people of Kerala. He said in a tweet that the government was “continuously monitoring the situation in parts of Kerala in the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding.” “The Central govt will provide all possible support to help people in need. NDRF teams have already been sent to assist the rescue operations. Praying for everyone’s safety,” Shah said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 11 teams for search, rescue and relief operations in the state. Meanwhile, the Army, Navy and Air Force have also stepped in on state government’s request to help the civil administration handle the situation.
In view of Red Alert in five districts of Kerala, Southern Naval Command Headquarters has been made ready to provide assistance to local administration in rescue operations. Meanwhile, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has sought assistance from Southern Naval Command at Kochi for air lifting of marooned families at Koottickal.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to take all precautions in view of the incessant rainfall and said that 105 relief camps have been set up. “People are requested to take all precautions against the rain. 105 relief camps have been set up across the State and arrangements have been made to start more camps,” he said.
Although the fury of rains have subsided, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authorities (KSDMA) said a trough of low at mean sea level now lies over Southeast adjoining East central Arabian Sea off north Kerala-Karnataka coasts and predicted possibility of light to moderate rainfall at many places with only isolated heavy rainfall over the state during next 24 hours and further decrease thereafter.