New Delhi, Aug 17: The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country’s apex body to handle emergency situation, met for the second time in two days today and directed to mobilise additional resources to all agencies who were engaged in rescue and relief operations in flood-hit Kerala. So far, the central government has mobilised deployment of 339 motorised boats, 2,800 life jackets, 1,400 life buoys, 27 light towers and 1,000 raincoats, an official spokesperson said here. (Also read: CM Seeks Donation) Also Read - 'Such a Kind Soul': Kerala Recalls Sushant Singh Rajput's Generous Act When He Donated Rs 1 Crore Towards 2018 Floods
Further, 72 motor boats, 5,000 life jackets, 2,000 life buoys, 13 light towers and 1,000 raincoats are being deployed, 1,00,000 food packets have been distributed and arrangements are being made to supply another 1,00,000 food packets. Provision has been made for the supply of milk powder as well. The railways has provided 1,20,000 water bottles. Another 1,20,000 bottles are ready to be despatched. It is also running a special train carrying 2.9 lakh litres of drinking water that will reach Kayamkulam tomorrow. Also Read - Year-Ender 2019: From Cyclone Fani to Kerala Floods, Here Are Major Natural Calamities That Ravaged India
The NCMC meeting, chaired by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, also held a video conference with the chief secretaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It was decided to mobilise additional resources of all agencies including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to provide the required assistance to Kerala, the spokesperson said. The Indian Navy has deployed 51 boats along with diving teams, 1,000 life jackets and 1,300 gumboots are being rushed to Kerala today. It flew 16 sorties in last two days in rescue operations. It will airdrop 1,600 food packets today. (Also read: Schools, Colleges Closed For Onam) Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Urges Kerala Govt For Timely Compensation to Flood Victims
The Coast Guard has deployed 30 boats along with rescue teams, 300 life jackets, seven life rafts and 144 life buoys. The IAF deployed 23 helicopters and 11 transport aircraft. Some of the aircraft are being flown in from Yelahanka and Nagpur. The Army pressed into service 10 columns, 10 Engineering Task Forces (ETFs), 60 boats and 100 life jackets. The NDRF has mobilised 43 rescue teams and 163 boats along with other equipment.
The NCMC directed these organisations to provide boats, helicopters, life jackets, life buoys, raincoats, gumboots, inflatable tower lights etc. The Kerala chief secretary requested for motorised boats to reach people marooned in flood-affected areas. The cabinet secretary directed these organisations to mobilise additional boats and equipment, including from CAPFs such as CRPF, BSF and SSB. Use of Naval airstrip at Kochi for use by civilian airlines has been offered to the Kerala government as the civilian airport remained closed. The Kerala government has been advised to explore the use of V-SAT communication links in areas where telephone connectivity has been disrupted. The cabinet secretary also directed that emergency medicines may be put on standby. The NCMC will meet again tomorrow to review the situation.
More than 100 people died in rain-related incidents in Kerala in just one day yesterday, sources in the State Disaster Management Authority said, even as defence forces scaled up operations this morning to rescue those stranded in the worst-hit areas. The toll for yesterday, initially put at 30, has now been revised to 106, the sources said, which takes the overall fatalities to 173 since the second spell of monsoon fury unleashed itself on August 8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kerala this evening to take stock of the flood situation there.