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Kerala floods: Death toll reaches 324, red alert remains in 12 districts, PM Modi to conduct aerial survey today

The prime minister will hold a meet with Kerala CM. The Cochin international airport has been shut from August 14 following the heavy downpour.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: August 17, 2018 23:59 IST ]
Image Source : PTI

Kerala floods: Death toll reaches 324

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday left for flood-hit Kerala, to take stock of the situation there. Modi will conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas in the state from 8 am onwards on Saturday. The prime minister will hold a meet with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other officials after he returns to the state capital at around 9:25 am.

"Leaving for Kerala to take stock of the flood situation in the state," the prime minister tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to arrive in Delhi at 10:30 am.

Modi spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan earlier during the day and discussed the situation.

The chief minister on Friday confirmed the death toll in Kerala floods to be 324. Red alert continued in 12 districts of the state, while the authorities continued the rescue operations and evacuated survivors to relief camps after the rains subsided.

More than 3500 people have been rescued in flood-hit Kerala, the Defence Ministry confirmed.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday spoke to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and announced a contribution of Rs 10 crore.

“Spoke to Kerala CM. Delhi government is making a contribution of Rs 10 Cr. I sincerely appeal to everyone to donate generously for our brothers and sisters in Kerala,” tweeted Kejriwal.

Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday asked domestic airlines to operate additional flights to Kerala and cap fares as the state reels under a deluge that has forced its busiest airport in Kochi to shut operations till August 26.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which held talks with the carriers, said it is constantly monitoring airfares on 32 direct routes operating to/from Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Coimbatore and Mangalore.

The Cochin international airport, the seventh busiest in the country, has been shut from August 14 following the heavy downpour.

Of the 71 arrivals and 74 departures of scheduled domestic airlines to and from the Cochin airport, 23 arrivals and 24 departures have been rescheduled and an additional 19 arrivals and departures have been diverted to and from Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Coimbatore airports, the DGCA said in a statement on Friday evening.

Nine foreign carriers operating to Cochin have also rescheduled flights to and from Thiruvananthapuram, it said.

An animal charity body on Friday said its rescuers were battling treacherous conditions to rescue and rehabilitate stranded and abandoned animals.

Humane Society International India said many animals have perished in the disaster and were working with the Kerala government and the National Disaster Response Force to locate and rescue dogs, cats and other animals left behind during evacuations.

The worst floods and landslides in a century in the state have taken the lives of over 300 people so far.

Kerala has been severely hit by monsoon rains and rivers and dam reservoirs are overflowing, inundating a large part of the state.

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