Home India Kerala Braces For More Rain Today, Thousands Await Rescue

Kerala Braces For More Rain Today, Thousands Await Rescue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was taken by helicopter over inundated farmland and villages, pledged Rs. 500 crore in central aid and promised more helicopters, boats and other equipment needed to expand the rescue operation in the still unfolding emergency.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Kerala’s respite from heavy rain is still at least a day away, the weather office predicted on Saturday as rescuers, including thousands of soldiers, in helicopters and boats fought through renewed torrential downpour through the day to reach stranded people still waiting for relief and rescue. At least 164 people have died in the flood since August 8 – taking the number of deaths to 357 this monsoon. More than six lakh people have been moved to over 3,000 relief camps.


  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was taken by helicopter over inundated farmland and villages, pledged Rs. 500 crore in central aid and promised more helicopters, boats and other equipment needed to expand the rescue operation in the still unfolding emergency. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has called it the worst floods in a century in Kerala, however said the state needed at least Rs. 2,000 crore in immediate assistance.
  2. PM Modi said the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard were assisting disaster relief agencies in the rescue, and a total of 38 helicopters had been pressed into service along with a number of aircraft and ships to ferry resources.
  3. The meteorological department said Kerala is not expected to receive heavy rainfall from Monday. It had issued a red alert in all districts of the state except Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kasaragod on Saturday.
  4. Tens of thousands of people were still stuck on the rooftops of houses and community centres. Rescue workers have yet to reach many flooded areas, some too narrow for boats to navigate.
  5. Hundreds of thousands others converged in halls and auditoriums of schools, temples, churches, and mosques with little or no toilet facilities. Some people in the relief camps were finding it difficult to access food and water. Videos on social media showed groups of people breaking open shops to take food.
  6. Helicopters have been dropping emergency food and water supplies across Kerala, while special trains carrying drinking water and rice have been sent to the state. With the airport in Kochi still flooded, a Navy airstrip will be used for passenger flights from Monday, officials announced.
  7. With rain alerts hanging over much of the state, dozens of dam and reservoir gates across the state have had to be opened as the waters reached danger levels, inundating many villages downstream.
  8. Particular fears have been raised for Chengannur, about 120 kilometers north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, which has been cut off for four days.
  9. Congress president Rahul Gandhi urged PM Modi to urgently declare Kerala a natural disaster. “Please do not vacillate as the people of Kerala are suffering,” he tweeted.
  10. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, where many Keralites work, said he had formed a committee to extend emergency assistance to the flood victims of the state, whose people he said “have always been and are still part of our success story”.