According to official figures, 58,506 people were rescued and 33 people died on Saturday.

Any Keralite can be proud of the unity of our land Kerala CM Pinarayi VijayanImage: PTI
news Kerala Floods Sunday, August 19, 2018 - 09:53

Midst the growing crisis of heavy rainfall, overflowing rivers and flooded areas, aid and assistant from several parts of India and overseas have ensured safety and supply of basic relief to the affected people. And Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan attributes this to the unity of the people.

“The reason for the success is the unity of our land. Any Keralite can proudly say this. To bring them together and work as one also makes the government proud. It was a big challenge to join all aspects to solve the crisis. Centre forces and democracy are the strength of our land's political culture. That's what helped us survive this, gave confidence to the government,” said the CM in a press meet on Saturday night, in Thiruvananthapuram.

“Creating confidence in people the strength to survive, is one of the basic lessons of the rescue operations being carried out. We are in the middle of a disaster. We should face it together as one, with one mind. Good work was done today. People's concerns were reduced a lot,” he added.

Though there were suggestions to hand over the rescue operations completely to the Army, the CM said, "Only those who know the land can lead the rescue operations. The disaster we faced was not limited to one area but spread to all districts. The government is working along with the army."

According to official figures, 58,506 people were rescued and 33 people died on Saturday. This takes the death toll to 368.

Choppy weather conditions posed a challenge to the rescue operations through rivers and air. “Roads and rail connectivity were disrupted. Some areas did not have access to any mode of transportation. The only way was water, but due to the flow of waters, rescue operations could only be done at only a few some areas. Only those who know the land can lead the rescue operations,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached Kerala on Saturday to take stock of the flood situation, chaired a high-level meeting in the capital. He announced an interim relief of Rs 500 crore for the state, although the CM informed that the state has suffered a loss of Rs 19,512 crore, per initial assessment. Pinarayi also requested for an immediate assistance of ₹2,000 crore.

“We have been apprising the PM, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman of the situation every day. Realising the gravity of the situation, the Home Minister has declared Rs 100 crore and PM declared Rs 500 crore today,” he said.

Realising that the Kerala flood will be a huge disaster and huge losses would be incurred, long-term recovery was discussed at the meeting.

Adding some relief, the CM said that the water level has started receding in most places and cleaning work will follow. He also warned strong action against anti-social elements.

 

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