New Delhi, August 17: Nearly 324 people lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Kerala in the last nine days, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday evening. Nearly 2.2 lakh people were put up in 1,568 relief camps across the state. “Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years. 80 dams opened, 324 lives lost and 223139 people are in about 1500+ relief camps,” read a tweet from the Chief Minister’s Office. Also Read - Lord Buddha's Ideals Have Lasting Solutions to Challenges World Facing Today: PM Modi
Due to heavy rains, land slips and flash floods, 17 trains between Karnataka and Kerala have been cancelled and two others have been diverted, news agency ANI reported. Also Read - Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir Laud PM Narendra Modi's Motivational Speech at Leh/Ladakh Amid India-China Stand-Off | SEE POSTS
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who talked to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the flood situation on Friday, will travel to the state for an aerial view of the affected areas. “Later this evening, I will be heading to Kerala to take stock of the unfortunate situation due to flooding,” Modi had tweeted. Modi is expected to land in Thiruvananthapuram by 9 PM. and will be staying at the Raj Bhavan. He will take an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, more than a dozen helicopters, hundreds of defence personnel, NDRF teams and ordinary fishermen with their motor boats launched a massive rescue operation in the flood-ravaged state. “The only good news is that rains have come down in certain areas of the state and we are planning to rescue all those who are waiting preferably by the end of this day,” CM had said, while addressing reporters. “The worst affected districts include Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur, where 52,856 families have been affected,” Vijayan had informed after a review meeting.
As of Friday, 16 Army, 28 Coast Guard, 39 NDRF and 42 Navy teams were engaged in the rescue operations, while another 14 more National Disaster Response Force teams would reach Kerala during the day, said Vijayan.
Following the deteriorated condition, major national and state highways, as well as the rail traffic, continued to be disrupted in various parts of the state. Railway operations between Ernakulam and Thrissur are suspended; the Alappuzha sector is open to Thiruvananthapuram but the Kottayam sector is closed. Some long distance trains were being diverted via the Nagercoil sector.
Notably, Kerala is facing the heaviest rains and floods witnessed in the state since 1924 which by now have caused massive destruction with damages to crops and properties estimated to be thousands of crores.
(With inputs from agencies)