Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced an additional grant of Rs 500 crore assistance to flood-ravaged Kerala, after holding a high-level meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and conducting an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged state. He also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured from the PM’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
The Prime Minister, who flew from Delhi on Friday night, made an aerial assessment of the damage caused by the floods. However, the survey was done only in some of the affected areas due to bad weather. Vijayan, meanwhile, informed the PM that the state had suffered a loss of Rs 19,512 crore, on initial assessment. Over 82,000 people were rescued on Friday as multiple rescue agencies shifted people from flooded districts to relief camps.
As several parts of Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts were submerged, people were camped on terraces or higher floors waiting for rescuers. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Friday said the heavy rains, floods and landslides have killed at least 173 people since August 8. There were 31 deaths reported on Friday.
All districts except for Kasargod and Thiruvananthapuram continue to be on red alert. Major rivers in the state are in full spate and flood water is entering areas up to 7 km away from the banks. Shutters of 35 dams (out of a total of 39 dams), including Mullaperiyar, are open. The Supreme Court has asked Kerala and Tamil Nadu to work out on the possibility of reducing the water level at the Mullaperiyar dam by three feet.