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Rajnath dials Kerala CM

Rajnath Singh
Picture: PTI

New Delhi: Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday spoke to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and assured him of all possible help in rescue and relief operations in the wake of torrential rain and landslides that have claimed 27 lives.

Rajnath will conduct an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas on Sunday.

"Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the prevailing flood situation in the state. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government. The relief and rescue ops are going on. MHA is closely monitoring the flood situation," the Union home minister tweeted.

Fourteen National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are being deployed in the flood-hit areas for rescue operations. Each team has about 45 personnel. With the water levels at various dams crossing the danger level, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water.

The army has deployed eight columns in the flood-ravaged areas. Each column has 75 to 100 troopers.

The army station at Pangode in Thiruvananthapuram has deployed one column under the supervision of a captain-rank officer in Idukki district.

They are stationed at Adimali in Idukki, Iritty, Thamarassery, Wayanad and Malappuram and rescue operations are in progress, a statement from the defence ministry said. The rescue mission in Wayanad district is being overseen by a lieutenant colonel.

An army column posted at Wayanad divided themselves into two groups and went to Vaithiry and Panamaram to carry out rescue operations in association with the civil administration.

The Indian Air Force has pressed into action two helicopters for the search and rescue operation.

One Mi-17IV and an ALH helicopter have been deployed from the Sulur air force base. One AN-32 aircraft was flown to Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu to airlift NDRF personnel to Kozhikode.

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