With weather forecast stating rain in Kerala on Friday as well, another 250 new boats and 23 helicopters are being added to hasten rescue operations in rain-battered Kerala from today onwards.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday that the situation in the flood-affected state is under control with rescue missions happening in full swings. Presently around 1.5 lakh people are in refugee camps. Around 3,000 people were rescued on Thursday in Ernakulam and Pattanamthitta.
The new rescue boats are to be operated in Aluva, Chalakudi, Chengannur, Thiruvalla, Ranni, Aranmula, and Kozhancheri. Other than boats from Central Government, boats from the Tamil Nadu Fire Force have also come to Kerala's aid.
The rain is forecasted to continue on Friday as well, hence people are asked to be on alert. The water level in Chalakudy is still on the rise, so precautionary methods are to be taken. The chief minister informed that Tamil Nadu government agreed to release more water from Mullaperiyar Dam and that there is good cooperation from them.
Vijayan also advised the public not to forward false messages and verify the information they receive. A circular was passed stating strict action against people who spread fake information.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to arrive in Kerala today to take stock of the situation. The Central Government on Thursday announced that it will be sending 12 fresh teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to Kerala.
Six teams each are being airlifted from Delhi and Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and they will be dropped at Thiruvananthapuram today, a force spokesperson had said.
On Wednesday, four teams of the federal disaster contingency force were sent to Kerala and with their addition the total number of NDRG teams operating in the state had gone up to 18.
The teams had been deployed in the flood affected areas of Idukki, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Alaphuzha, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Thrissur and Pathanamthitta, the spokesperson said.
A single NDRF team has about 45 personnel.
Till Thursday, NDRF teams have rescued 7 people and evacuated 685 people in the state that has been severely hit by rains and floods, he added.
Heavy rains in Kerala have so far claimed the lives of 72 people and the Kochi International Airport has been shut till Saturday.
A red alert has been sounded in 12 of the 14 districts.
With inputs from PTI