Kerala floods: Army, Navy, Air Force join rescue efforts as death toll crosses 80
Seven people were killed in a massive landslide in Palakkad this morning, taking the death toll in Kerala’s worst natural to 87india Updated: Aug 16, 2018 14:50 IST
Army detachments from Pune and Bhopal landed in Kerala on Thursday while the Navy deployed 21 teams as the government stepped up the fight against the devastating floods that have claimed more than 80 lives so far.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the defence ministry to step up rescue and relief operations across the flood-hit state after chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan called him this morning. Union home minister Rajnath who also spoke to Vijayan said the said the Centre was despatching additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to Kerala in response to the CM’s appeal.
The Indian Air Force launched rescue operations in Pathanamthitta district which is one of the worst affected places and winched people to safety. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was in action in Thrissur district’s Arattupuzha village, rescuing people from flooded areas.
The flood situation in the state worsened on Thursday amid nonstop rain with the public transport system virtually collapsing in many parts of central Kerala after the Southern Railways and Kochi Metro suspended their operations due to floods.
Watch: Indian Air Force airlifts man in flood-hit Pathanamthitta
Seven people were killed in a massive landslide in Palakkad this morning, taking the death toll in Kerala’s worst natural to 87. Three persons are still trapped at the site. Many areas of the state remain marooned with rail, road and air services severely crippled across the state. All 14 districts of the state are under red alert as heavy rain continued in many parts of the state.
ANI news agency reported that 82 tourists are stranded inside a bus in Munnar. All routes are either flooded, or blocked due to mudslides.
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 on Thursday.
The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) also suspended its operations this morning after flood water submerged its yard in Muttom near Aluva.
“Kochi Metro train operation is suspended as the water level rises in Muttom yard area,” KMRL said in a statement.
The service will be resumed once the water comes down and the systems are back in good condition, its spokesperson said.
Bus services to Kochi were also affected after National Highways connecting the city submerged in Kalamassery area, officials said.
Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan again this morning. We discussed the flood situation in the state. Have asked Defence Ministry to further step up the rescue and relief operations across the state. Praying for the safety and well-being of the people of Kerala. @CMOKerala— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2018
State revenue officials said many areas remain without power and drinking water sparking fears of an epidemic outbreak, officials said.
On Wednesday, the Cochin International Airport shut down flight operations till Saturday as water entered in the airport area following continuous rains and the opening of dam shutters in Periyar river.
People in downstream areas have been severely affected after shutters of all major dams including Mullaperiyar, Cheruthoni, part of Idukki reservoir, and Idamalayar were opened.
More than 1.5 lakh people are now living in relief camps.
In Malappuram nine members of a family perished after their house collapsed on Wednesday in landslide and Idukki and Wayanad reported three casualties each. Idukki, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta districts are among worst affected.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)
First Published: Aug 16, 2018 09:47 IST