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PM asks MoD to step up Kerala relief and rescue ops

PM asks MoD to step up Kerala relief and rescue ops

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the Defence Ministry to further step up relief and rescue operations across Kerala which is facing a severe flood situation.

He also spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan again this morning.

“We discussed the flood situation in the state. Have asked the 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,” the PM tweeted.

Yesterday evening, Modi had told Vijayan that the Centre stood firmly behind Kerala and was ready to provide any assistance.

Rains in the state have claimed 47 lives, officials said, adding that a red alert had been sounded in 12 of the 14 districts.

Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today expressed concern over the flood situation in Kerala and took to Twitter to make a fervent appeal to people for help by contributing to the chief minister’s relief fund.

He also tagged the link of the chief minister’s relief fund to his tweet asking people to contribute, and said: “it is time to step up and help”.

“I am deeply concerned for the people of #Kerala tonight, as the flood waters rise. Thousands are stranded. Relief camps full. Many have lost their loved ones. It’s time to step up & help. Please contribute generously to the CM’s relief fund,” he said on Twitter tagging the link.

The death toll in the current phase of monsoon Fury in the southern state has touched 72.

Rise in flood waters in Periyar River due to the rains and opening of all shutters of all major dams including Mullaperiyar, Cheruthoni, part of Idukki reservoir, and Idamalayar, have severely affected lives of people in downstream areas.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan once again called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprised him of the flood situation in the state.

The state has also sought the services of additional Army personnel and helicopters and the prime minister has assured all help, Vijayan said.

Kochi Metro suspended operations this morning after flood waters entered the Muttom yard near Aluva and train services have been affected in various parts of the state with the cancellation of many passenger trains and partial cancellation of some long distance train.

The situation is grave, and most villages have been affected. Water levels are likely to rise further. He also asked people on banks of Periyar, Chalakkudy rivers need to be vigilant.
Incessant rains and landslides claimed another 29 lives with the death toll rising to 73.

Flight operations at the Kochi airport were suspended till Saturday as officials said a red alert had been sounded in all the 14 districts of the state. The public transport system collapsed in many parts of central Kerala with the Southern Railways and Kochi Metro today suspending their operations due to floods. The situation in Kerala continued to deteriorate with rains wrecking havoc in most parts of the state.

As rains continued to batter Idukki, the sluice gates of the damn were also reopened in the wee hours of Wednesday after the water level touched 142 feet mark. Tensions also escalated between Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the increasing water levels in the Mullaperiyar dam.

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