Kerala Flood: 'We need to unite as one to tackle it,' says Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo: PTI)
The total death toll in the worst ever deluge in Kerala has reached 357, as 33 more reports of deaths were confirmed by the officials on Saturday. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has revised its red alert advisory, withdrawing it from eight districts in Kerala. The IMD said that the rainfall intensity is expected to reduce in the next couple of days.
"Kerala is not expected to receive heavy rainfall from August 20," said Mritunjay Mohapatra, IMD Additional Director General.
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey around Kochi following a review meeting with Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
Meanwhile, the Centre has announced an immediate aid of Rs 500 crore in addition to the Rs 100 crore assistance by the Union Home Ministry.
The Kerala government had requested final assistance of Rs 2,000 crore with the overall damage in the flood-hit state being around Rs 20,000 crore.
"We are in the middle of a disaster. We need to unite as one to tackle it," said Kerala CM Vijayan, adding that the state is experiencing its worst floods in a century.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that the financial aid by the Centre for flood-ravaged Kerala was nowhere near enough and asked the situation to be declared as “national disaster.”
"Dear PM, increasing funds allocated for Kerala relief to Rs 500 crore is a good step but nowhere near enough. It is critical you declare the floods as a National Disaster. Please do not vacillate as the people of Kerala are suffering," Gandhi said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, the NDRF has rescued over 10,000 people from flood-affected areas of Kerala, in what is being called its biggest-ever rescue operation in the country till date.