With the Kerala flood toll rising and 3.5 lakh staying in relief camps, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that rescuing trapped people is the "top-most" priority and announced an additional Rs 500 crore in aid, even as he lauded the fighting spirit of Keralites.
They are taking shelter in more than 2,000 relief camps.
The Navy and the Air Force have been conducting several rescue operations in areas where people have been stranded due to water rising to unsafe levels.
-Navy's "Operation Madad" scaled up in flood-hit Kerala, reports ANI.
Thousands of army, navy and air force troops have fanned out across Kerala to assist as distress calls sound out across the idyllic tourist hotspot.
An official coordinating relief operations in Wayanad listed immediate requirements of various drugs and tablets, sanitary napkins, bleaching powder, among others. Squadron leader V Joshi says, ' the situation is quite bad. The crop loss estimated till Saturday was worth Rs 224.21 crores.
-Around 7 Lakh litres of water has been loaded in the wagons for flood victims in Kerala.
The floods have triggered landslides and sent torrents sweeping through villages. A woman at Aranmula near Alapuzha said they had not had any food or water for two days.
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Red alert was issued for 11 districts for Saturday.
Roads and 134 bridges have suffered damage, isolating remote areas in the hilly districts of the state which are worst affected.
Modi, after an overnight stay in the state capital, left for Kochi this morning for the aerial survey and the review meeting to get a first-hand knowledge of the enormity of the mayhem caused by the southwest monsoon.
Vijayan the media that the situation is "very serious and grave". Works are now going on to make them open as well. If there is anymore delay in, things will taken a turn for the worse. "We are drinking rain water to keep us going.", said a resident of Pandanad.
The Army, the Navy and the Air Force along with the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) are working around the clock to recuse people who are stuck as water rises to risky levels.
The spokesperson said that a control room based here was monitoring the situation round-the-clock and was in close touch with other agencies and stakeholders involved to provide succour to the affected people. At least 6,500 remained stranded as of Thursday evening.
The Chief Minister said as per the initial assessment, the total loss was pegged at Rs 19,512 crore. "I do not want to blame anyone but it has been proved beyond doubt that the state government has failed".
Hundreds of troops and local fishermen are staging desperate rescue attempts with helicopters and boats across the southern state, which draws worldwide tourists to its tropical hills and beaches. Meanwhile, Cases of chicken pox infection has been reported from a relief camp in Ernakulam district. "The government is working along with the army".