The relief camp – a school – is also housing 48 people from Killipalam whose houses were flooded.

Ground report 20 men from Ranni seminary rescued now in Tvm relief campSreekesh Raveendran Nair
news Kerala Floods Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 14:37

Twenty men rescued from a seminary in Ranni, Pathanamthitta, have been housed in a relief camp in Chalai Model Higher Secondary School for Boys, in Thiruvananthapuram. A helicopter deployed by the Indian Navy had taken the students of the seminary along with a couple of teachers from the upper floor of the seminary, where they had been stranded since Wednesday.

“The ground floor was entirely flooded and we were trapped on the upper floor. We called the police by afternoon. But they could not reach us immediately. However, a helicopter reached us early morning on Thursday and brought us to the Thiruvananthapuram airport. From there we came to the Chalai school,” says Anil, a student of the seminary who was rescued.

Among the 20 saved, six are Malayalis. The rest are from Odisha, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

“But there are still four more students from the seminary stuck in a building opposite the seminary. The helicopter could not reach them,” Anil adds.

Revenue officials are taking care of the men, providing them with food and other basic needs. “There are also people from Thiruvananthapuram, who are being rehabilitated here, as their houses are flooded,” says Baburaj, a revenue official.

Around 48 people are on the other end of the school, in a classroom, sitting with their families that include little children. “We are all from the Killipalam area. All our houses are flooded. This has happened once before – about four to five years ago – again because of heavy rain,” says Usha, who was one of the first to seek help. “I have a child who is unwell, so the first thing we did was to take him to my sister’s.”

The flooding began on Wednesday morning and the police reached them by evening. “However, the counsellor was very indifferent, came only in the evening when the water had receded a little. And asked us to call them if needed,” says one of the younger women at the camp.

Shashi, an older man at the camp, says that party people – CPI (M) workers - had also visited them to help.

“But all our belongings are left behind, in those floods,” says Sudha, another woman.

The rescue team has provided them with the basic necessities – food and bed sheets – says Vinod Kumar, Thycaud village officer. “We don’t know how long the relief camps will need to accommodate them. The situation will get worse if the Peppara dam too has to be opened,” he adds.

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