Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has announced a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the flood ravaged state of Kerala after chairing a high level meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister Alphons KJ and other state ministers for checking rehabilitations measures and assessing the damage. He also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured from the PM’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
According to the recent weather report, heavy rains along with gusty wind speed upto 60 kmph is expected in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki and Ernakulam districts.
Narendra Modi visited flood-ravaged Kerala to aerially assess the situation onground, including the most-affected districts- Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta. However, due to inclement weather, the survey was cancelled for now.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accompanied by Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor P. Sathasivam and Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons during aerial survey of flood affected areas. #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/s0LB2Z9J3q
— ANI (@ANI) August 18, 2018
The President of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has instructed officials to set up a national emergency committee to help flood-hit areas of Kerala, reported news agency ANI.
The ruler of Dubai also came forward and said in a tweet:
The people of Kerala have always been and are still part of our success story in the UAE. We have a special responsibility to help and support those affected, especially during this holy and blessed days pic.twitter.com/ZGom5A6WRy
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) August 17, 2018
Upto 82,000 people were rescued by rescue agencies who shifted them to relief camps. Pinarayi has shared that the heavy rains, floods and landslides have killed at least 173 people since August 8. 31 deaths were reported on Friday.
In an emotional and heartbreaking appeal, Chengannur MLA Saji Cherian broke down in a Malayalam TV studio on Friday night while narrating the grim situation in his constituency.
“Please ask Modi to give us helicopters, give us helicopters… please, please; 50,000 people will die otherwise… We have been demanding for Navy assistance since the past four days and still haven’t received any help. Airlifting is the only solution. Please, please, please,” MLA Cherian said during the TV show which was being continuously contacted by hundreds of victims and relatives.
Following MLA Cherian’s remarks, reports have emerged that the Navy has sent 10 boats to Chengannur. However, the information couldn’t be verified at the time of filing this report, Indian Express reported.
Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday asked domestic airlines to operate additional flights to Kerala and cap fares as the state reels under a deluge that has forced its busiest airport in Kochi to shut operations till August 26, PTI reported. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which held talks with the carriers, said it is constantly monitoring airfares on 32 direct routes operating to/from Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Coimbatore and Mangalore. “Spike in airfare on a few routes have been observed. Airlines concerned have been advised to cap the airfare on these flights,” it added.
In one of the first unprecedented floods in history, fresh onslaught of rain in Kerala since August 8 has led to a death toll of over 100 and 35 out of 39 dams have been opened. A red alert has been issued in all the 14 districts of the state. There have been power cuts and food shortage across the state.