Nation Current Affairs 20 Aug 2018 Not food, clothes bu ...

Not food, clothes but technical aid needed to rebuild Kerala: KJ Alphons

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | Edited by : UMANG SHARMA
Published Aug 20, 2018, 4:56 pm IST
Updated Aug 20, 2018, 5:03 pm IST
'The biggest challenge right now is to rebuild. We need people with technical skills to put life back on track,' KJ Alphons said.
Indian Air Force members conduct rescue and evacuation drive in flood-affected regions of Kerala. (Photo: Indian Navy Twitter via PTI)
 Indian Air Force members conduct rescue and evacuation drive in flood-affected regions of Kerala. (Photo: Indian Navy Twitter via PTI)

Kochi: Floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains has claimed at least 357 lives and left several lakh people homeless in the last few days.

Rescue operations are on in full-swing with relief teams working tirelessly to move stranded people to safer places and ensure food, water and medicines reach each and every person in the state.

 

While help has been pouring in from all over the world, Union minister KJ Alphons has gone to say that Kerala "doesn't need food and clothes". According to the Union minister KJ Alphons what the state desperately needs is technical assistance to rebuild, recreate and put life back into Kerala.

According to reports, rescue workers have recovered more bodies after the flood water receded on Monday.

The losses due to heavy rainfalls over the last two weeks have been estimated at over Rs 20,000 crore. The worst since the unforgettable flood of 1924 lasted about three weeks and caused a tremendous damage to life and property.

 

"The Prime Minister visited Kerala and took stock of the situation. He has promised assistance and whatever it takes to rebuild the state. He announced an immediate assistance of Rs 500 crore. Before that Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Kiren Rijiju had sanctioned Rs 100 crore and Rs 80 crore, respectively. So money isn't a problem," the minister said.

Apart from this, states, political parties, ministers, government employees, as well as judges have come to the rescue of Kerala and has assured financial aid to the state.

“Today we have close to a million people in relief camps. District collectors are working as coordinators and providing supplies. Central forces are providing amazing service to Kerala,” Alphons said.

 

Meanwhile, the Centre has set up 3,757 medical camps in the flood-hit state, the Health Ministry said.

"Things are running very well and all central forces are providing amazing services. Fishermen have turned out to be the biggest heroes. We thank the people of India and other countries for sending help and showing compassion, but we need technical help when the water level goes down. There is no electricity or mobile connectivity. The homes are gone so we need thousands of electricians, carpenters and plumbers to rush to Kerala. The biggest challenge right now is to rebuild. We need people with technical skills to put life back on track," Alphons added.

 

The state saw 250 per cent more rain than normal between August 8 and August 15, causing authorities to release water from 35 dangerously full dams.

Rescue operations are underway in Chengannur on the banks of the Pamba River, where at least a thousand people are still stranded in five villages.

The weather officials said that heavy rain is likely to subside in the coastal state. Commercial flight operations in Kochi also resumed on Monday after the Navy activated its airstrips to accommodate small passenger aircraft. The first flight -- an Alliance Air ATR plane -- landed early on Monday at the INS Garuda naval air station.

 

Meanwhile, the Kochi airport will remain closed till August 26.

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