Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s worst floods in a century have claimed the lives of 324 people, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced on Friday evening. Over three lakh people have been displaced and are in relief camps while the number of those affected is over two crores. Desperate for help, residents have been uploading SOS videos on social media, seeking rescue boats and relief supplies. Vijayan said that over 80,000 people have been rescued today itself.
Till now, 42 Navy, 16 Army, 28 Coast Guard and 39 National Disaster Relief Force teams were engaged in rescue operations. Another 14 NDRF teams are expected to reach shortly. The military has pushed in more than 200 boats. Another four aircraft and three Coast Guard ships have also been brought in.
Desperate non-resident Keralites from Australia, the US and the UK have been pleading with authorities, seeking help for their families.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Kerala to take stock of the situation after attending the funeral of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He will undertake an aerial survey tomorrow morning is expected to announce more relief measures after meeting Vijayan. Relief is also pouring in from other states as both Delhi and Punjab have announced they have donated Rs 10 crore each for the flood-ravaged state. Private firms like ICICI Bank and Star India have also come forward with donations.