Agencies: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare Kerala floods a ‘national disaster without any delay’. “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 (sic),” he tweeted. His statement comes an hour after Modi announced Rs 500 crore interim relief to the state following a review meeting with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Minister K J Alphons.
On the other hand, the latest weather update seems to be a ray of hope as the red alert has been reduced to two districts. Yellow alert has been issued in seven districts and no alert in three. UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed sadness over the flooding and extensive damage and displacement caused in rain-battered Kerala. Kerala is witnessing the worst flooding in 100 years. About 80 dams have overflowed and more than 300 lives have been lost. Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.
“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 said on Friday.
Chengannur MLA Saji Cherian pleaded for more help and said thousands of people were stranded in houses without food and water, if immediate steps are not taken to evacuate them, their life will be in danger. “For the past five days people are without food in many places. We urgently need food, medicines, water. People need to be airlifted urgently. Evacuation by Army, Navy and Air Force are urgently needed,” Cherian told a television channel this morning.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the government machinery has to be properly coordinated to ensure all the needy get help. Since August 8, 324 people have lost their lives so far and 36 are missing. Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps. The maximum deaths have been reported from Thrissur (42), Idukki (37) and Malappuram (35).