Heavy rains and floods continue to batter Kerala; Army, Navy and Air Force launch massive rescue operations

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Heavy rain and floods continue to lash Kerala, triggering landslides and stranding people across the state. The Centre has deployed all three wings of the armed forces in a massive rescue operation. A red has been issued in all the 14 districts. Thousands have been shifted to relief camps.

At least 59 people have been killed in the last 24 hours taking the death toll to 103 in a week. Most numbers of deaths are reported from Thrissur, Malappuram, Kannur, Idukki and Palakkad due to landslides. Rail, air, road traffic has been hit and the Kochi Airport will continue to be closed till 26 August.

The southern railway has cancelled many trains owing to flood. The MeT department has forecast heavy rain accompanied by gusty winds across the state till Saturday.

“Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts in central Kerala continued to be the worst affected over the last 24 hours as thousands of people — including kids, students, women and the aged are trapped in their homes due to heavy flooding.

The rescue operations are progressing on the war footing here. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the rescue operations would be more active from today with the arrival of 40 more NDRF teams, boats and 10 helicopters. Meanwhile, the water level in the Idukki dam is reaching its maximum capacity and high have been issued in the area.

State power minister MM Mani said all dams including Mullaperiyar dam are safe and people should not believe rumours regarding safety. Traffic on the national and state highways have been regulated. 34 dams are still opened and all 44 rivers are overflowing. Shamila for air news Thiruvananthapuram.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reach Kerala today to assess the rain situation. Mr Modi who will reach Thiruvananthapuram this evening, where he will hold a meeting with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Tomorrow the Prime Minister will go to Kochi and will conduct an aerial survey of the flood-affected regions. Union Minister of State for tourism KJ Alphonse said Mr Modi has assured all help to Kerala.

In view of the prevailing flood situation in Kerala, a high-level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary met yesterday to ensure continued and scale up assistance to the State.

Ministry of Home Affairs said in a release that on the instructions of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha chaired the meeting of National Crisis Management Committee, NCMC.

Kerala also participated via video conference represented by Chief Secretary and his team.

The release said, Cabinet Secretary pressed into service all the forces and directed that relief material including the supply of drinking water, dry food packets and powdered milk should also be made available to Kerala.

For proper reservoir management in Mullaperiyar Dam, a Committee chaired by Chairman, Central Water Commission and Engineers-in-Chief of Tamil Nadu and Kerala has been constituted. The NCMC will meet today again to review the situation.

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