Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said a total of 39 people had lost their lives and 217 houses had been destroyed completely in the devastating landslides and flash floods that had occurred in the south-central districts of the state recently.
At least six people were missing and 304 rehabilitation camps were opened after the heavy rains battered several areas of the southern state, he told the Assembly.
After paying homage to the flood victims and pledging all support to the affected families, Speaker M B Rajesh declared the House as adjourned today.
The session, for the next two day, has been cancelled in the wake of the fresh rain alert as the MLAs have to rush to their respective constituencies to co-ordinate the flood relief programmes.
The House was scheduled to be convened again from October 25.
Expressing profound grief over the rain-related calamities, Vijayan said the unexpected tragedy was unbearable not only for the victims’ family members but also for the entire state.
“Thirty-nine people, who would have lived for many years, had killed in the four days of torrential rains, floods and landslides. The tragedy has caused irreparable loss to their family members. The House is sharing their pain with a broken heart,” the Chief Minister said in the Assembly.
Assuring that the government would never abandon the grieving families, he said its care and consideration would be reflected in the rescue and relief measures and the restoration of their livelihood conditions.
Kerala had been receiving excessive rains since October 11 and there was a slight dip in it’s intensity on October 18 and 19, he said.
“As of yesterday (October 19), the death toll in the state was 39 and the number of missing persons was six. As many as 3,851 families have been shifted to 304 rehabilitation camps opened across the state,” Vijayan detailed.
Stating that a total of 11 NDRF teams were camping in various districts, he said Indian Army personnel were also taking part in the rescue operations and the helicopters of the Air Force and the Navy were all set for any mission.
As the India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rains for two-three days in southern states including Kerala from October 20, alerts are being issued accordingly, he explained.
In anticipation of this, water in dams was being released in a controlled manner after informing the district administration and the local people in the respective areas, he said and requested everyone’s support in fighting the rain fury.
Meanwhile, K Babu (Congress) who spoke in the House representing the opposition, urged the government to improve its disaster management system.
Though natural disasters were recurring in frequent intervals, the warning system in the state was a failure, he alleged and wanted the government to provide adequate compensation to the affected persons.