Worsened Kerala floods….toll touches 79

The death toll in Kerala has climbed to 79 as the state is reeling under one of the worst floods in history. A total of 271 people have died in Kerala since the onset of Monsoon since May 29, including 79 in the second phase of floods. The Met department has predicted continuous rains till Saturday. The entire state of Kerala has been on a red alert since Wednesday evening.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had once again called Prime Minister Narendra Modi today seeking more aid considering the situation. He also sought for additional Army personnel and helicopters. For the first time in history, the state has opened 35 of its 39 dams. Train services have been disrupted and road transport services are in disarray with stretches of roads coming under water. Officials said a holiday has been declared for educational institutions in all districts barring Kasaragod tomorrow while colleges and universities have postponed exams.

As the situation became grave, the state government sought the help of more teams of army personnel, National Disaster Response Force and Army Engineering. Thousands of people are stranded across the state. A total of 52 teams from central forces including the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and NRDF are already engaged in rescue and relief works including an additional force of 12 NRDF teams has already arrived in Kerala.

Expressing concern over flood situation in Kerala, Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to make a fervent appeal to people for help by contributing to the chief minister’s relief fund. He also tagged the link of the chief minister’s relief fund to his tweet asking people to contribute, and said “it is time to step up and help”.

“I am deeply concerned for the people of #Kerala tonight, as the flood waters rise. Thousands are stranded. Relief camps full. Many have lost their loved ones. It’s time to step up & help. Please contribute generously to the CM’s relief fund,” he said on Twitter tagging the link.

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