Floods have been wrecking havoc in Kerala and as the situation worsens amidst torrential rains and overflowing water bodies, Indian armed forces have been deployed to carry out rescue and assistance operations. The National Crisis Management Committee met today for the second time in two days to review the rescue operations. The government today has decided that additional resources of all agencies, including the Army, Navy, Airforce, Coast Guard and NDRF have been mobilised to carry out rescue and assistance in flood-hit areas of Kerala.
Operation Madad has been launched by the Indian Armed Forces to provide help in Kerala. Yesterday, the Southern Naval Command had halted all its training ops to extend help in Kerala floods.
Update on #OpMadad –
More than 3000 persons have been rescued by the armed forces as on date since the start of the operation.
More than 750 persons have been provided medical care by the armed forces.#KeralaFloods2018@nsitharaman pic.twitter.com/YFCfHlolom
— Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) August 17, 2018
The Indian Army has deployed 10 flood relief columns, with 65 personnel in each column for rescue operations. The Army is also assisting in providing transport, food and has deployed personnel to restore connectivity by repairing roads and bridges that have been damaged in the state.
As on 16th Aug 2018, 13 columns of @adgpi including 4 Engineering Task Force w/ 23 boats are deployed in the flood affected districts of Kerala under #OpMadad.
Indian Army’s ops are being conducted on war footing in cooperation w/ civilians & state admin.@nsitharaman pic.twitter.com/Cnes9m1wNm
— Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) August 16, 2018
Yesterday, the Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command deployed 21 diving and rescue teams with 21 Gemini boats for rescue operations in the state. The naval teams are also working with the civic administrations of several districts to help in distribution of relief material, transportation and rescue efforts. As of today, the Navy has reportedly moved all its additional resources and its aircraft hangar at INS Kochi has been turned into a relief camp.
With massive landslides being reported from the state, the death toll has reached 167. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has appealed to PM Modi for additional help which has already been sent and the PM is scheduled to visit the state today to take a review of the situation.
Amidst the disastrous situations in the state, news of valiant rescue operations have been pouring in and the expertise and care with which the armed forces are handling the grave situation are being praised in mainstream and social media. Earlier today, a heavily pregnant woman in the initial stages of labour was airlifted by Navy’s rescue team. Within an hour of being rescued the woman gave birth to a baby boy under the care of Naval doctors.
A pregnant lady with water bag leaking has been airlifted and evacuated to Sanjivani. Doctor was lowered to assess the lady. Operation successful #OpMadad #KeralaFloodRelief #KeralaFloods2018 pic.twitter.com/bycGXEBV8q
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) August 17, 2018
Many areas of Kerala are still cut off. Airports and highways have been flooded due to which transport has taken a hit. Till yesterday, all 14 districts of the coastal state were under red alert and as per the latest news, red alert for Thiruvananthapuram has been withdrawn.
According to the disaster management authorities in the state, a total of 3393 hectares of area is under floodwater. As per reports, as many as 718 relief camps are currently operational in the state and approximately 85,000 people are residing in those camps.