As devastating floods triggered by incessant rains continue to wreak havoc in Kerala taking the death toll to 167, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning announced of his travel to the state in the evening to take stock of the unfortunate situation. The PM also said he spoke to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the morning and discussed the flood situation across the state. He also reviewed the rescue operations that have been going on in the state.
The PM took to Twitter saying, “Had a telephone conversation with Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan just now. We discussed the flood situation across the state and reviewed rescue operations. Later this evening, I will be heading to Kerala to take stock of the unfortunate situation due to flooding.”
Kerala is facing one of its worst-ever tragedies in the last century. The CM announced that the death toll has reached 167. The floods have destroyed properties and damaged crops.
At least four capital ships of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) have reached Kochi and joined the disaster and relief team. A total of 24 teams are already working in the flood-affected villages. ICG has so far rescued 1764 people and guided 4688 people to safer locations.
A red alert has been issued in all 13 districts in the state except Kasaragod. The alert has also been issued for Saturday in Ernakulam and Idukki districts.
On Friday morning, five units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have reached Thiruvananthapuram and deployed for rescue operations. A total of 35 teams are expected to reach there today.
The rescue and relief team of the Indian Coast Guard has been shifted to the flood-affected Manjumala village from Vandiperiyar. The team has rescued 16 stranded people from the village. A rescue operation is underway and food and dry ration have been distributed among them.
The grime situation has left the state with only two operational civil airports at Thiruvananthapuram and Calicut, as operations at the Cochin airport have been suspended on account of rising water levels in the operational area. The Central government has asked domestic airlines to keep a check on airfares for flights operating to and from Kerala.
“We have advised airlines to be more sensitive to the situation arising out of #KeralaFlooding & keep airfares in check. It`s a humanitarian cause. Thx to all for agreeing with my suggestions to carry free of charge the #KeralaFloodRelief related material. All efforts ongoing for relief,” Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu tweeted.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, airfare on 18 domestic routes is being monitored.
“Spike in airfare on few routes have been observed. Concerned airlines have been advised to cap the airfare on these flights,” the Ministry said in a statement on late Thursday.