Kerala floods: Death toll rises to 357

Trivandrum (Kerala) [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday said that the death toll in the flood-hit state has increased to 357. The Chief Minister further informed that the state has suffered a loss of Rs 19,512 crores due to floods. "We are in the middle of a disaster, we need unite as one to tackle it. The state has suffered a loss of Rs 19,512 crores due to floods. Total 33 people have died in the state today. Death toll rises to 357," Vijayan said at a press briefing. Kerala has been facing the worst flooding in a century. The rescue and relief operations in the state are in full swing and efforts are being made to evacuate people from flood-affected areas. Earlier in the day, after conducting an aerial survey of the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a relief fund of Rs. 500 crore to the state along with an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh to the next kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to those critically injured. The Centre has launched massive rescue and relief operations in the southern state. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been asked to mobilize additional manpower, boats and helicopters to scale up the rescue and relief operations. Food packets and drinking water are also being rushed. The Chief Ministers of various states have also come forward to help the southern state cope with the huge-scale devastation and extended financial aid.
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