“Several flood affected areas are now suffering from water crisis,” says the official’s report.
Kerala: The rescue operation for flood victims in Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts continued on Saturday with response teams battling strong river currents and heavy rain to bring stranded citizens to safety.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who undertook an aerial survey of some of the flooded areas, announced an interim assistance of ₹500 crore against a demand of ₹2,000 crore made by the State government.
The rescue work involving the armed forces and State government agencies was focussed on Chengannur and Chalakudy. As many as 22 helicopters and 119 boats of the Navy and Coast Guard were also involved.
The State’s Chief Minister who had earlier termed this flood as the worst in the century, said the rescue work was in the final stage with teams involved in mopping up operations.
58,506 people were rescued
“Things are well under control,” he told reporters after a review meeting. A total of 58,506 people were rescued from different locations on Saturday.
Efforts were on to reach food and medicines to the marooned people.
As per an official pressnote which states that helicopters had carried out a total of 900 airlifts in the operation and around 4,00,000 people were shifted to relief camps from flooded localities.
Thousands of houses from Kumarakom to Vaikom in the Kuttanad region were inundated. The rising waters in Vembanad lake flooded houses in Alappuzha town and Thaneermukkom panchayat. The two canals in Alappuzha were also overflowing.
Officials estimates that more than 2,00,000 people, including the aged and the infirm and women and children, would have to be evacuated from Kuttanad.
Five columns of the Border Security Force, 169 NDRF teams, and 23 groups of the Army and engineering division worked closely with 3,200 Fire and Rescue Services personnel, 40,000 policemen, and a large number of volunteers to rescue marooned families in Pathanamthitta and Thrissur.
Food packets were airdropped and distributed by boats.
Heavy rain lashed many places in Idukki also triggering flash floods.
CM reactions on Opposition’s Demand
Reacting to the Opposition’s demand that the rescue operations should be handed over to the Army, the Chief Minister said the Central forces had worked closely with the civilian administration under a joint command and control system to carry out rescue and relief operations.
“There is no precedent of the Army carrying out a disaster management operation by itself,” he said.