Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 17: In the past 10 days, over 150 people have lost their lives in what is one of the worst floods in the history of Kerala. On Thursday, rain and floods claimed 30 more lives. Reports say 167 people have died in rain-related incidents since August 8. The Skymet Weather Services has predicted heavy rainfall for the next twenty-four hours in the state. Two-thirds of the state is without power. There is an acute shortage of drinking water and a red alert has been issued in all the 14 districts of the state. The state government fears an outbreak of water-borne diseases as well. Also Read - UK's Chief Nurse Makes Emotional Speech Asking People to Stay Inside For Aimee And Areema, Nurses Who Died From Coronavirus
Reports also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after attending the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on Thursday evening, will leave for Kerala today. The Supreme Court has also taken note of the crisis and has directed the high power committee to convene a meeting today over the rising water level in Mullaperiyar Dam. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been in touch with Prime Minister Modi and has sought more aid. He has also sought additional Army personnel and helicopters. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also spoken to Vijayan and additional IAF helicopters are being deployed. For the first time in its history, the state has had to open 35 of its 39 dams. Also Read - Coronavirus in India: Amid Janata Curfew, Death Toll Reaches 6, Bihar Man Youngest Victim
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Operations at the Cochin International Airport have now been suspended till August 26, said some of the leading dailies. The public transport system has also collapsed in many parts of central Kerala. Kochi Metro officials said the services will be back only after the water level in the metro yard comes down. Bus services were affected after the parts of the national highways connecting Kochi submerged. Train services were affected due to rain, with many being delayed or cancelled.
The NDRF has sent more teams to help with rescue operations. NDRF DG Sanjay Kumar said, “We have deployed teams in 7 districts. Fourteen teams are already there and today we are sending another 12 teams and if required, more teams will be sent. We are working for rescue, evacuation and relief in coordination with the state authorities.”