The flood situation has worsened in Kerala. Landslides have caused heavy damage and deaths in northern districts. Several districts in central Kerala have also been submerged in floods triggered by over-flowing rivers.
The number of those killed has mounted to 73, as 17 deaths were reported today, including seven in Palakkad, due to landslides. A red has been issued in all the 14 districts and all educational institutions across the state are closed today. Thousands have been shifted to relief camps.
The MeT department has predicted heavy rain accompanied by gusty winds across the state till Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked the Defence Ministry to further step up relief and rescue operations across Kerala. He also spoke with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan again this morning.
In a tweet, Mr Modi said, the Centre stands firmly with the state and is ready to provide any assistance. On the directions of the Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretary chaired a high-level meeting.
The Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and NDRF have been asked to mobilise additional manpower, boats and helicopters to scale up the rescue and relief operations. Food packets and drinking water are also being rushed.