Kerala Floods: Death Toll Rises To 167, PM Modi To Review Relief Operations
Kerala is witnessing the worst monsoon in a century. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kerala, where nearly 167 people died since August 8, following torrential rain and related floods and landslides this evening. He will undertake an aerial survey of the state.
Nearly 100 people died over the last 48 hours in the worst monsoon in a century. Chalakudy town in Thrissur district turned into sea as river Periyar overflowed. Pandalam town in Pathanamthitta district and Changanassery in neighbouring Alappuzha district are flooded as well. Met office said the rain will continue till Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Had a telephone conversation with Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan just now. We discussed the flood situation across the state and reviewed rescue operations. Later this evening, I will be heading to Kerala to take stock of the unfortunate situation due to flooding".
PM Modi will reach Kochi after attending the funeral of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which is expected to take place around 4 pm.
Almost all parts of Thrissur and Chalakudy towns are under water. Fifty police personnel are marooned in Chalakudy bridge. Seven people are missing after a building collapsed, at least 70 people had taken shelter in it. Water has started entering relief camps.
The met office has predicted heavy rainfall till Saturday. Thirteen of the 14 districts in Kerala are on red alert - the exception is Kasaragod. Idukki is the worst affected.
Twelve fresh teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been rushed by the Centre, news agency Press Trust of India reported. Altogether, 35 teams are expected to reach the state by evening. The Coast Guard has stationed three ships at Kochi.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has issued a stern warning to those spreading fake news about floods in the state using social media. The warning came after Idukki District Collector Jeevan Babu said fake news was being spread on social media about the safety of Mullaperiyar dam.
Domestic airlines have been asked to keep a check on air fares for flights operating to and from Kerala. Telecom operators have announced free call and data services, extension in bill payment dates and other relief measures for seven days for customers for users in Kerala.
Kerala has been ravaged by unprecedented floods following torrential rains that also triggered landslides, claiming 97 lives since August 8 besides disrupting air, rail and road traffic in several places.
Many parts of Kochi have been flooded. Aluva is one of the worst-affected areas.Fresh landslides were reported from southern Kerala's Idukki and the northern districts of Malappuram and Kannur.
Popular tourist destinations like Munnar and Ponmudi are almost cut-off because of bad roads due to landslides. Except for official vehicles, no other vehicles are allowed to enter Munnar. People have also been asked not to visit the Sabarimala hill shrine as the water level in the rain-fed Pampa river is high.