Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 17 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said the Central government would provide all assistance to Kerala to overcome the flood situation and that the government is monitoring the situation closely.
"Continuously monitoring the situation in parts of Kerala in the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding," the Union Minister tweeted.
"The Central government will provide all possible support to help people in need. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have already been sent to assist the rescue operations. Praying for everybody's safety," Shah added.
The NDRF has deployed 11 teams for rescue, search and relief operations in the state.
Eleven bodies of people who died in the landslide on Saturday following heavy rains in Kootickal of Kottayam district have been recovered. The Kerala Fire and Rescue operation team and the NDRF are jointly leading the operation. Six people of a family of 44-year-old Ottalankal Martin, his 38-year-old wife Sini, three children -- Sneha (11), Sona (10) and Sandra (9) -- and Martin's mother Claramma Joseph (69) died following a landslide at Kuttikkal.
In Kokkayar of Idukki district, rescue and search operations are underway for eight missing persons following a massive landslide and the bodies of three children have been recovered.
Congress MP from Idukki, Dean Kuriakose is leading the rescue operations from Saturday evening. Speaking to IANS telephonically, he said, "Incessant rains and poor visibility and slippery soil had hampered the rescue and relief operations as movement of vehicles are restricted in narrow roads. Now the situation has improved as the rain has stopped even though it is cloudy. Eight persons are missing from here, according to the locals which included four members of a family and three bodies of children are now recovered. The rescue operations are underway."
In Kanjirapally of Kottayam district, a state transport corporation bus was submerged in water on Saturday. The Kerala Transport Minister, Antony Raju suspended the driver of the KSRTC bus, Jayadevan for rashly driving the vehicle into the road filled with water.
The Kerala government has announced a financial compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the families of all deceased victims.
State Revenue Minister, K. Rajan who is camping at Kuttikal in Kottayam while speaking to media said, "The rescue operations are almost complete in Kuttikal and 11 bodies have been recovered from here. In Kokkayar of Idukki district, the rescue and recovery operations are underway. We have announced an immediate relief of Rs 4 lakh to all deceased victims and will support all those who are injured."
According to the Revenue and Health departments, nearly 50 people are injured but most have suffered minor bruises and have been admitted to various hospitals in Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kottayam districts.
Thirty-five relief camps have already been set up in the Pathanamthitta district with schools, community halls and marriage halls being converted into camps.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a statement said the army helicopters are on standby to rescue the stranded persons.
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