Video: Death toll in Kerala floods escalates to 167

WION Web Team
Kerala, India Published: Aug 17, 2018, 12:25 PM(IST)

Rain and floods continued in India's southern Kerala state as four more teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were brought in on Thursday to help with the relief operations. Photograph:( ANI )

The death toll in Kerala has risen to 167 on Friday as flood crisis worsens in the state, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

The state has also incurred a loss of over Rs 8,000 crore due to the incessant rainfall.

Unabated rains and rising level of flood water have prompted authorities to open floodgates of as many as 33 dams and reservoirs across the state. 

A red alert was issued today morning in all 13 districts of Kerala except Kasaragod.

Also read: Mullaperiyar dam is safe: Tamil Nadu CM tells Kerala counterpart

The increase in the number of death was seen even as defence forces scaled up operations to rescue those stranded in worst-hit areas.

Twelve additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force comprising about 540 personnel were also rushed to Kerala.

The Indian Coast Guard has so far rescued 1,764 people and moved 4,688 people to safer locations. Twenty four teams of the Indian Coast Guard has been deployed in the region for rescue operations.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday described Kerala's flood situation as "grave" and directed a high power committee to convene a meeting by Friday on the rising water level in the Mullaperiyar dam.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the flood-prone area today evening to discuss the flood situation with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The PM said that he held a telephonic conversation with Kerala chief minister wherein he discussed the prevailing situation in the state and also the steps to review rescue operations.

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The chief minister had earlier described the ongoing flood fury in Kerala as something that had never happened in the history of the state wherein "almost all dams have been opened". 

Over 25 trains were either cancelled or rescheduled in Kerala. Kochi Metro operations have not been affected so far, sources said.

The operations at the Kochi International Airport will remain suspended till August 26, with runways being flooded.

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Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had yesterday said 23 more helicopters will join the rescue operations today and 200 additional boats will also be pressed into service.



(With inputs from agencies)

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