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Kerala Floods: PM Modi to visit state a day after Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral

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Union Minister K J Alphons on August 16 said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would visit Kerala and undertake an aerial survey of the areas devastated due to floods on August 18. According to reports, PM Modi was expected to reach Kochi on August 17 after attending the funeral of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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The funeral of Vajpayee has been scheduled for 4 pm in the BJP Headquarters in Delhi today. Alphons said, “After an overnight stay at Kochi, the Prime Minister will undertake an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas on Saturday.”

PM Modi has been in touch with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and assured all possible assistance. “The Prime Minister has taken a positive stand towards the state on relief measures,” Vijayan had said on August 15 regarding their second conversation in the past few days. “The Centre has sanctioned more men and material,” Vijayan added.

According to NDTV report, around 97 lives were claimed since August 8 due to rising water levels as the worst flood in Kerala in nearly a century. The swollen water levels threatened to sink neighbouring states, where dams neared maximum capacity and rivers in spate. The floods were followed by torrential rains that also triggered landslides disrupting air, rail and road traffic in several places.

“Kochi Airport operation is temporarily suspended up to 2 pm till August 18 due to very high flood situation and key essential facilities like runway, taxiway and apron are under submerged condition,” an airport statement had previously said.

10 more helicopters joined the existing fleet in the massive rescue operation while 40 additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and a team of marine commandos also arrived.

“This sort of a situation has never been faced by the state. We are doing all that is humanly possible and rescue efforts are going on,” Vijayan added.

According to reports it is the worst flood in the state since 1924 and has wrecked havoc across the coastal state, with damages estimated to be more than Rs 8,000 crore.

Also Read: Kerala: SC directs authorities to lower water levels in Mullaperiyar dam

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