Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare Kerala floods a national disaster. Lives and livelihood of millions of people are at stake, the top Congress leader said. Over 300 people have been killed and 3.14 lakh moved to relief camps due to the worst floods that the state has witnessed in 100 years.
"Dear PM, Please declare Kerala floods a National Disaster without any delay. The lives, livelihood and future of millions of our people is at stake," Rahul Gandhi tweeted even as PM Modi conducted an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged state. PM Modi complimented the Kerala government over steps being taken and assured of all help from the Centre.
The Prime Minister expressed his grief and sorrow on the unfortunate deaths and damage caused to lives and property due to floods.
The Prime Minister reviewed the flood situation during a meeting with Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and officials of the state government.
Dear PM,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 18, 2018
Please declare #Kerala floods a National Disaster without any delay. The lives, livelihood and future of millions of our people is at stake.
After the review, the Prime Minister announced a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the State. This is in addition to Rs. 100 Cr. announced by the Home Minister on 12.08.2018. He also assured the State Government that relief materials including foodgrains, medicines etc would be provided, as requested.
PM also announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured from PM's National Relief Funds (PMNRF).
UN chief saddened by devastation
UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed sadness over the flooding and extensive damage and displacement caused in rain-battered Kerala.
"Our humanitarian colleagues as well as the country team in India have been following the recent floods very closely. The United Nations is of course saddened by the loss of life, destruction and displacement caused by floods in India," Stephane Dujarric, the UN Secretary-Generals spokesperson, told reporters.
WATCH: Kerala battles worst floods in 100 years
(With inputs from agencies)