New Delhi, Oct 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Kerala chief minister Pinrayi Vijayan and condoled the loss of life due to the heavy rain and landslide situation in the state.
“Spoke to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation in the wake of heavy rains and landslides in Kerala. Authorities are working on the ground to assist the injured and affected. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” tweeted PM Narendra Modi.
“It is saddening that some people have lost their lives due to heavy rains and landslides in Kerala. Condolences to the bereaved families,” he added.
The toll from disastrous flooding caused by heavy rains and landslides in hilly areas of two central Kerala districts rose to 21 as rescue workers recovered more bodies from the rubbles on Sunday.
Officials said the bodies of three children buried under slush were recovered after intense rescue efforts.
The children, aged eight, seven and four, were found holding to each other, officials said.
Kerala Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan, who visited Kokkayar and Koottickal alleged that the state government failed to launch rescue operations in time in the affected areas.
At Koottickal in Kottayam district, a family of six including a 40-year-old man, his 75-year-old mother, 35-year-old wife and three girl children aged 14, 12 and 10 were killed as their house was swept away in the landslide.
Bodies of three were recovered yesterday and remaining bodies were found by the rescuers during their efforts today.
Meanwhile, the heavy rains subdued a day after it wreaked havoc in the state.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday urged the people of the state to exercise extreme caution even as the weatherman has withdrawn Red and Orange alerts for the south-central districts of the state and asked the public to follow the instructions of the authorities.
“The weatherman has warned about strong wind and lightning till today evening. Currently, the depression, formed in the Arabian Sea, has weakened. However, there are chances that it will rain till evening. Yellow Alert has been issued by the IMD for the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode,” Vijayan said in a Facebook post.
He also informed that across the state 105 relief camps have been opened and more camps will be set up if needed.
“NDRF teams have been deployed to Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram districts. Directions have been issued to deploy five additional teams to Idukki, Kottayam, Kollam, Kannur and Palakkad districts. Two choppers of the Air Force from Coimbatore have reached Thiruvananthapuram,” Vijayan said.
The Navy helicopter has been deployed to distribute food kits and other essential materials in areas of Koottickal and Kokkayar where landslides have occured.