At least 25 people lost their lives due to incessant rain and floods in Kerala on Wednesday, taking the total death toll to 67. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sent an SOS to the central and the Tamil Nadu governments even as a red alert has been sounded in all 14 districts of the state.
The Kerala Chief Minister has requested Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to send additional teams of Army, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and Army Engineering Corps to Kerala on immediate basis.
The state has also sought a C-17 aircraft to facilitate transporting of equipment to areas hit be rains and floods. Vijayan also took up the issue of increasing water level in Mullaperiyar dam with the Home Minister, pointing that water has reached “dangerous levels”.
Vijayan also reached out to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswamy, asking him to look into the Mullaperiyar dam water level issue. According to the Kerala Chief Minister’s office, “CM raised the issue of the water level in Mullaperiyar dam, which has reached dangerous levels, with the Home Minister… CM informed that Tamil Nadu has to intervene immediately to lower the water-level in Mullaperiyar dam. @HMOIndia discussed the matter with the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu.”
The Kerala Chief Minister wrote a letter to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister demanding the lowering of water level in the dam. “It must be done urgently in the interest of the security of the dam,” wrote Vijayan.
Officials said a holiday has been declared for educational institutions in all districts barring Kasaragod tomorrow while colleges and universities have postponed exams. Power supply, communication systems and distribution of drinking water have been disrupted in various parts of the state in the rain mayhem.
Train, road and air services have also been hit due to worsening situation. The Kochi international airport announced a shutdown till Saturday after water entered the airport area.
As flights were being diverted to various airports or suspended, the state government decided to seek Centre's permission to allow small aircraft to land at the Naval airport in Kochi. Airlines including IndiGo, Air India and SpiceJet have announced suspension of their operations to Kochi.
(With PTI Inputs)