Kerala Floods: PM Modi Conducts Aerial Survey, Grants Rs 500 Cr Interim Relief
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an additional grant of Rs 500 crore to Kerala, after holding a high-level meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other officials, and conducting an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged state on Saturday.
The Prime Minister 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). The Kerala CM, meanwhile, informed the PM that the state had suffered a loss of Rs 19,512 crore, on initial assessment. Heavy rains, floods and landslides have killed at least 174 people since August 8.
According to the Home Ministry's National Emergency Response Centre (NERC), over 2,11,000 people in 14 districts have been badly hit by the rains and floods, and over 32,500 hectares of crops damaged.
Modi, after an overnight stay in the state capital, left for Cochin in the morning for the aerial survey and the review meeting to get a first-hand knowledge of the enormity of the mayhem caused by the southwest monsoon.
Meanwhile, rains lashing several parts of the state since morning is causing concern as it could hamper the rescue and relief operations.
Kerala has been witnessing incessant rainfall over the last few days, causing unprecedented flooding and landslides in several parts of the state. So far, 324 people have lost their lives in the state due to flood, according to a tweet by the Chief Minister Office (CMO) of Kerala.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinayari Vijayan and assured that he will visit the flood-hit state to review the situations. The Centre has also launched massive rescue and relief operations as the situation in the state is getting worse with each passing day.
The rescue operations have also been stepped up in the state to evacuate people from the flood-affected situation.
Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been asked to mobilize additional manpower, boats and helicopters to scale up the rescue and relief operations. Food packets and drinking water are also being rushed.
Hundreds of people, including women, children and the elderly trapped in places inaccessible by boats were winched up by defence helicopters and shifted to safety.
Meanwhile, a red alert was sounded in 13 districts of Kerala, except Kasaragod. A read has been sounded for Ernakulam and Idukki districts for Saturday as well.
President of UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered formation of an emergency committee to provide aid to Kerala.