COCHI: To aide and speed-up the rescue operations in flood-hit Kerala, the Indian Army has deployed 10 relief columns and 10 Engineer Task Forces in rain-affected districts.
“As on date total of 10 flood relief columns, each having an approximate strength of 65 personnel are carrying out rescue operations in ten districts of Kerala,” said the Ministry of Defence in a statement.
The flood relief columns have ben deployed in Ayyankunnu (Kannur), Mananthwady (Wayanad), Kozikode, Karuvarukundu & Nilambur (Malappuram), Adimali (Idukki), Aluwa (Ernakulam), Ernakulam, Pathnamathitta and Thiruvanantpuram.
In addition to the 10 flood relief columns, 10 Engineer Task Forces (ETF) each having an approximate strength of 40 personnel from Jodhpur, Bhopal, Pune, Bangalore and Secunderabad have been pressed into action.
The Army is also utilising 53 military boats to evacuate civilians from flood-affected areas.
“Inspite of continuous and heavy rains, Indian Army columns are working round the clock to restore connectivity to remote villages by constructing temporary footbridges, bunds and preparing alternate routes. 13 temporary bridges were constructed to reconnect 38 remote areas and total of 3627 personnel have been rescued till date, which include 22 foreign nationals.
“Relief materials have been sent to 19 villages with medical aid being provided to approximately 500 civilians till date. In addition, 3000 pre-cooked meals and 300 life jackets have been handed over to civil administration on 17 Aug 2018,” added the ministry.
The death toll in Kerala floods has risen to 324, Chief Minister Officer (CMO) of Kerala said on Friday. The CMO, in a tweet, said that 324 lives have been lost due to floods and around 223139 people are in about 1500 relief camps.