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Monsoon havoc in Kerala: 324 lives lost since May 29, says CM Vijayan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the state on Friday night to take stock of the situation

Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

Kerala floods
Vythiri: A car is seen submerged in flood water after heavy rainfall, at Vythiri in Wayanad district of Kerala on Thursday

The death toll due to the flood and heavy rains in Kerala has gone up to 164 between August 8 and Friday. Further, during the current monsoon season, a total of 324 people have lost their lives between May 29 and Friday morning, according to the state government.

On Friday alone, around 82,442 people were rescued, mainly from Chengannur, Chalakkudi, Kuttanad and Aluva. With the rivers' water levels still high, 314,391 people from 7,085 families are currently housed in 2,094 relief camps that have been opened in various parts of the state.

Arrangements have been made to use the Indian Navy's airport to allow airlines to land, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the state on Friday night to take stock of the situation.

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The government has said that the state is facing the worst flood it has seen in a 100 years and 80 dams have been opened so far. As on Friday morning, the Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts in the southern and central parts of the state were still inundated and thousands were stuck inside their homes. Efforts were on to evacuate all of them during daytime and for providing food and water to those who were stranded. A total of 1,568 relief camps are currently operational.

More helicopters and boats were deployed for rescue operations and additional forces are expected to join the effort. As on Friday morning, around 42 teams from the Indian Army and the Navy, along with over 20 helicopters and hundreds of boats, were involved in rescue operations across the state. The Coast Guard is working in 28 locations and the Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 39 teams so far. The NDRF has rescued over 4,000 people, while the Navy has rescued 550, Vijayan told reporters in the morning.

ALSO READ: Kerala floods: Death toll rises to 164, PM Modi to visit the state today

Around 100,000 food packets have been provided by the central government's food processing division. Food is also available from the DRDO. Steps to ensure availability of drinking water in flood-affected areas have also been taken. The government is collating data from various sources every four hours to decide the next course of action. A high-level committee is meeting twice a day to take stock of the situation and monitor the rescue operations. All the districts in the state have been declared flood-affected areas and there have been demands from various political parties to declare it a calamity.

First Published: Fri, August 17 2018. 22:30 IST