Kerala is facing the heaviest rains and floods witnessed in the state since 1924 which by now have caused massive destruction with damages to crops and properties estimated to be thousands of crores.
The Central government on Friday launched a massive relief and rescue operations in flood-hit Kerala, involving the three defence forces, over a dozen helicopters, hundreds of defence personnel, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and ordinary fishermen as rains subdued and the death toll crossed 160 in 10 days.
Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha chaired a high-level meeting following a directive from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set to visit the state later on Friday evening.
Besides the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force, the Coast Guard and the NDRF have been asked to mobilise additional manpower, boats and helicopters to scale up the rescue and relief operations.
Food packets and drinking water are being rushed to Kerala for distribution among the people in 14 worst affected districts, while additional NDRF teams are also being sent to the state to assist the local administration in operations.
Although the intensity of rains decreased in several districts since Friday morning, waters from the big dams in Idukki district continued to be let out keeping 13 districts in red alert, except for Kasargode. Waters from the Periyar river and its tributaries kept many towns in Ernakulam and Thrissur submerged. The worst affected include Paravur, Kalady, Chalakudy, Perumbavoor, Muvatupuzha.
Major national and state highways as well as the rail traffic continued to be disrupted in various parts of the state. Railway operations between Ernakulam and Thrissur is suspended; while the Alappuzha sector is open to Thiruvananthapuram, but the Kottayam sector is closed. Some long distance trains were being diverted via the Nagercoil sector.
Kerala Floods Helpline Numbers
Location of Rescue Camps