PM Modi to visit flood-hit Kerala

PM Modi to visit flood-hit Kerala

PM Modi to visit flood-hit Kerala

The death toll from the worst floods in almost a century in the Indian tourist state of Kerala rose to 43 on Wednesday as rising water stranded tens of thousands of people and forced the closure of one of its main airports.

At least eight people were killed when an irrigation dam burst and a landslide hit three houses in the town of Nenmara, Palakkad district, authorities said. More than 1.5 lakh people have been shifted to 1,200 relief camps. At least 360 persons were airlifted from this region as the Navy and Air Force carried out rescue operations in Pathanamthitta, where the Pampa river continued to overflow. They also dropped food and water and appealed for victims to stand in open fields or on rooftops away from trees so helicopters were not damaged during rescue efforts. This is as per statistics provided by the Disaster Management State Control Room, released on Wednesday evening.

Kerala is now in the grip of devastating floods, as at least 75 people have died in various parts of the state.

In Kerala families could be seen paddling boats provided by the military, while in some areas families commandeered local wooden boats to ferry themselves to safety.

Authorities have opened the gates of 34 reservoirs as water reached risky levels.

All state TV channels are now being flooded with SOS messages with video clips from people who are waiting to be rescued and most of these calls are coming from Pathanamthitta and nearby areas. "Phone network and charge finishing please help in any possible way", Devika Sreekumar said in the Facebook post.

"Anybody reading this, PLZ HELP". All rescue control rooms' numbers busy. A total of 35 teams are expected to reach there today. "No contact with family since last evening", she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday on Twitter that he has ordered the defence ministry "to further step up the rescue and relief operations across the state".

With Kerala reeling under the worst floods it has experienced this century, authorities of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) have said that the airport will not be operational till August 26.

With rains still pouring down heavily leading to flooding across Kerala, 20 fresh deaths were reported on Thursday, taking the toll to 87, since August 8.

Promoth Manghat, Executive Director, Finablr and Group CEO, said, "As a committed corporate citizen, who firmly believes in helping communities in times of need, it was our responsibility to do all that is in our power to aid the people of Kerala, who are facing this unprecedented natural calamity".

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