Updated: August 18, 2018 1:39:14 pm
In a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other state officials, the Centre announced a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the flood-ravaged state on Saturday. This is in addition to Rs 100 crore earlier announced by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week. PM Modi also announced an additional financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the next kin of the deceased individuals, and Rs 50,000 to the victims who have been reported to be seriously injured. This allocation shall be made from PM’s National Relief Fund.
READ | Kerala floods LIVE UPDATES
PM Modi also undertook an aerial survey of the flood-affected districts in the state. The survey was called off earlier today due to bad weather. The Prime Minister, who reached Kochi Saturday morning, is in Kerala to assess the damage and check the rehabilitation measures employed by the administration.
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#WATCH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducts an aerial survey of flood affected areas. PM has 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 PM’s National Relief Funds (PMNRF). #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/T6FYNVLmMu
— ANI (@ANI) August 18, 2018
The Prime Minister, after an overnight stay in the Thiruvananthapuram, had left for Kochi Saturday morning for the aerial survey and the review meeting to get a first-hand insight of the enormity of the disaster caused by the southwest monsoon.
Meanwhile, rains lashing several parts of the state since this morning is causing concern as it could hamper the rescue and relief operations. Chengannur in Pathnamthitta, Chalakudy in Thrissur and various parts of Ernakulam district are among the worst hit where rescue efforts are likely to be concentrated today.
Since airlifting is the only option in some remote areas, where people are marooned since the past four days, the state government has sought more helicopters for airlifting them, chief minister said. Chengannur MLA Saji Cherian pleaded for more help and said thousands of people were stranded in houses without food and water, if immediate steps are not taken to evacuate them, their life will be in danger.
CM Vijayan informed Friday that the heavy rains, floods, and landslides have killed at least 173 people since August 8. Over 82,000 people were rescued on Friday as multiple rescue agencies relocated people from flooded districts to relief camps.
EXPLAINED | Kerala floods: All your questions answered
A colossal southwest monsoon in Kerala has resulted in floods and landslides in the state, the magnitude of which has hardly been observed in recent memory. The situation, described as unprecedented by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is considered similar to the violent floods of 1924 if not as serious. The Centre and state administration along with the armed forces are working hand-in-hand across all 14 districts, to rescue thousands marooned in their homes.
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.
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