Kerala rains: CM holds meeting, says no need to panic
Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 9 (IANS) Even as most parts of Kerala have been affected by heavy rains in the past few days, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday assured the people that there is no need to panic at all.
Speaking to the media here soon after chairing a review meeting, Vijayan said things are under control.
"If one compares with the floods that took place the same time last year, this time it's not that serious. As a government, we have taken every precaution and there need be no panic, but just be alert. The need of the hour is people should cooperate with the authorities, if they are asked to move out from places which are likely to turn dangerous, they must comply," said Vijayan.
So far 23 deaths have been reported from various parts of Kerala due to rains and floods.
"The worst affected is Wayanad. Of the 22,165 people in 315 relief camps in the state, Wayanad has 9,563 people in 105 relief camps, the highest in the state. At Mepadi, an entire hill has been washed away. The inclement weather is preventing aerial operations, even as the Air Force team is ready and waiting to reach there. The Centre has pledged all possible help," added Vijayan.
"The meteorological department has predicted more rains in the next 24 hours, especially in the hilly areas of the state. Also, North Kerala is going to be affected by winds. The prediction is that from tomorrow the intensity of the rains is going to come down, but on August 15th, it's going to rain heavily," Vijayan added.
On the presence of the forces which are engaged in relief and rescue operations, he said there are 13 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), three teams, each of the engineering task force and the Army.
"Two more columns of the Army are arriving. With the Cochin airport closed till Sunday, efforts are on to see if the Cochin Naval Base airport can be opened (it was open during last year's floods). The Centre is always in touch with us," said Vijayan.
He also said that the 67th edition of the Nehru Boat race to be held on Saturday at Alappuzha has been postponed.