Rajnath Singh to conduct aerial survey of flood hit Kerala on Sunday


New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will conduct an aerial survey of the flood hit Kerala on Sunday, a Ministry statement said on Saturday.

The Union Minister will be accompanied by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism K. J. Alphons and other senior officers from the Ministry.

He will also review the search, rescue and relief measures taken by the state government and other Central Government agencies with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, ministers of the state government, Chief Secretary and other senior officers of the Central agencies and state administration.

During the current south-west monsoon season, various parts of Kerala have been reportedly affected by heavy rains and rain oriented calamities, said the statement.

It said at least 14 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams consisting of 404 rescuers and 31 boats have already been deployed in various parts of flood-hit areas including Thrissur, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Wayand, Kozhikode and Idukki districts.

The teams will assist the state administration in the relief and rescue operation as well as distribution of essential relief material and provide medical support to affected people at the time of emergency.

So far, NDRF teams have rescued seven people and evacuated 398 others and 12 livestock.

In view of possible inundation, NDRF teams are kept on standby in vulnerable locations and are keeping close vigil over the development of situation, said the statement, adding that “additional teams are also kept at standby at nearest NDRF battalion in Arrakonnam and shall be mobilized, if required. Director General of NDRF, Sanjay Kumar, is supervising the ongoing rescue operations”.

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“Besides the NDRF, adequate columns of Army, Navy and Coast Guard, Helicopters of Indian Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard are deployed in the state for assisting the state administration in lifting and dropping of essential commodities,” the statement added.

The northern and central parts of the state have been battered by heavy rains since August 8, causing one of the worst floods in its history.

The floods have claimed at least 29 lives across the state in the last 36 hours, leaving over 54,000 homeless.