Kerala floods: Death toll rises to 167
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], August 17 (ANI): As per the latest reports on Friday, the death toll due to Kerala floods has risen to 167. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the same during a press conference here. Around 15,000 people have been rescued from the flood-hit Kerala in the last nine days. The numbers have been given by Army Karnataka and Kerala (K&K) Sub-Area, headquartered at Bengaluru, under the name, 'Operation Sahayog'. The operations were carried out by the Pangode military station, Pangode and Defence security cops, Kannur. Operation 'Karuna', carried out by the Indian Air Force, has rescued almost 170 people through airlifting and winching. The ongoing flood situation led the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation to cancel 8,415 tickets. The KSRTC has refunded Rs. 52,78,126 to the passengers from August 9 to August 17. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he will be visiting the flood-hit state in the evening to review the situation. "Had a telephone conversation with Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan just now. We discussed the flood situation across the state and reviewed rescue operations. Later this evening, I will be heading to Kerala to take stock of the unfortunate situation due to flooding," Prime Minister Modi tweeted. Meanwhile, a red alert was sounded in 13 districts of Kerala, except Kasaragod today. The Indian Coast Guard's rescue and relief team from Vandiperiyar has been shifted to the flood-affected Manjumala village in Kerala's Idukki district. So far, the team has rescued 16 stranded people from the village. Food and dry ration have been distributed among them. Five units of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) reached Thiruvananthapuram and were deployed for rescue operations. 35 teams are expected to reach there today. Kerala has been witnessing incessant rain since past few days, causing flooding and landslide in the state. The Centre has launched massive rescue and relief operations in the state owing to the flood situation which is worsening by the day. Yesterday, in view of the prevailing floods situation in Kerala, a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) was held to scale up assistance and ensured continued relief and rescue operations. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been tasked to mobilise additional manpower, boats, and helicopters to scale up the rescue and relief operations. The Chief Minister had earlier said that the state is facing the worst flood situation since 1924. Earlier on Thursday, NDRF teams evacuated 926 people to a safer place at Pathanamthitta, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Alappuzha. Moreover, the Army also built a 35-feet long bridge and rescued around 100 people including children and senior citizens from Malampuzha's Valiyakadu village.
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