Relief camps were also set up in Varkala on Thursday, and people rescued from the flood-hit areas were taken there this morning.

Army personnel from Pune reach Tpuram proceed to flood-hit areas for rescue
news Kerala Floods Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 19:11

Two teams of army personnel arrived from Pune at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on Thursday. By afternoon, they had started for the flood-hit areas of Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam. 

“We are from the 120 Engineering Regiment based in Pune. One team has left for Pathanamthitta. And the other team led by me has started for Ernakulam,” Major Ravishankar said.  

Saying that he has spoken to Mohammed Safirulla, the Ernakulam District Collector, the Major added, “But we can decide on how the operations are to be carried out only after reaching the ground. We may need to go to remote locations. We have got boats with us and operators, to carry out the rescue operations. We have also got some medicine.” 

Relief camps were also set up in Varkala on Thursday, and people rescued from the flood-hit areas were taken there this morning. “The air force brought the people to the Thiruvananthapuram airport. From there, they were taken to the relief camps set up by the state government in Varkala,” said Dhanya Sanal, Defence PRO, Thiruvananthapuram. 

Around 22 people were housed at the Varkala relief camp on Thursday. “They are all from Ranni, Pathanamthitta,” Dhanya added. 

About 20 people were earlier rescued from a seminary in Pathanamthitta by a helicopter of the Indian Navy and brought to a relief camp set up at the Chalai boys' school in Thiruvananthapuram.  

Pathanamthitta has been one of the worst affected districts, especially in areas like Ranni. Videos of people crying for help, after being stuck in the upper floors of their houses with the lower floors flooded, have been circulating online.   

On Thursday morning, officials from Pathanamthitta said that the water levels in certain areas have subsided but thousands are still trapped in their homes. 

A total of 46 people lost their lives as per official figures, by 5pm, on Thursday.   

(All photos by Sreekesh Raveendran Nair)

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