Kerala floods: Toll rises to 41; Centre sanctions Rs 80 crore as assistance to deal with 'unprecedented rain'

Kochi: Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday promised more central assistance to Kerala to deal with "unprecedented rains and floods", a day after Rs 80 crore were sanctioned to the state as initial aid.

 Kerala floods: Toll rises to 41; Centre sanctions Rs 80 crore as assistance to deal with unprecedented rain

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju visits flood situation in Kerala to assess the damage. Twitter @KirenRijiju

A central government team headed by Rijiju and accompanied by Union tourism minister Alphons Kannanthanam arrived in Kochi on Saturday morning. The team visited the rain-affected districts, including Kottayam, Alappuzha and Ernakulam.

The state government has Rs 203 crore in its kitty and the Centre approved Rs 80 crore as immediate relief to deal with the situation.

Rijiju said both the Centre and the state have fixed assistance of Rs 4 lakh to kith and kin of the people who died in to the calamity. "We have visited many relief camps and this is one of the very bad situations which Kerala had to face because of unprecedented rains," he added.

"This is the situation in which the state government and the central government must come together," Rijiju said. The central team is satisfied with the manner in which the relief camps are managed by the local administration, the minister added. He also said there were predictions for more rains from 23 July and that "we have to be more prepared to face it."

He said damages caused due to flooding was being calculated."We will extend whatever possible help from the Government of India because Kerala has witnessed unprecedented rains and floods. We are with the people of Kerala and the central government will do whatever is required," Rijiju told reporters.

Meanwhile, a defence spokesperson said the Southern Naval Command (SNC) has sent five teams to Alappuzha district to assist the civil administration in disaster relief. The teams were dispatched after a request by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in view of widespread inundation and water-logging in the state.

Each team comprises five members and is equipped with inflatable gemini boats and other equipment including diving sets, the spokesperson said. The SNC is ready to offer assistance with food and medical services if required by the administration, he added.

The toll in rain-related incidents in Kerala has gone up to 41 since the onset of monsoon on 29 May. As many as 1.18 lakh people have taken refuge in 606 relief camps across Kerala, as rains continued to batter several parts of the state.

Updated Date: Jul 21, 2018 18:31:40 IST