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Centre sanctioned an immediate aid of Rs 80 crore for relief works, says Rijiju

Kochi: Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju has promised to deal with the flood situation in Kerala as per the requirements on the ground. He said the central government on Friday sanctioned an immediate aid of Rs 80 crore for relief works.

The minister arrived here on Saturday morning to take stock of the crisis.

“The Centre will extend all support to the affected people. Kerala government has already some certain things (for relief). We will also join the efforts. The Centre and the state have to deal with the situation together,” he told reporters as he came out of the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery.

Rijiju was accompanied by union minister of state for tourism Alphonse Kannanthanam and a group of officials.

The delegation will visit the worst-hit Kottayam and Alappuzha districts besides Chellanam in Ernakulam on Saturday.

As many as 1.18 lakh people have sought refuge in 606 relief camps across Kerala as rain continued to lash several parts of the state in varied intensity.

A total of 50,836 people are now in 212 relief camps opened in Alappuzha, while 37,657 are in 164 camps in neighbouring Kottayam.

There was no respite from water logging at many places in the districts.

People, including women and children, were seen moving in waist-deep water.

Scarcity of safe drinking water and possible threat of water-borne diseases are also a cause of worry for the local people.

In Kottayam district alone, 10 people have died in rain-related incidents.

The meteorological department has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall at several places in the state till Saturday.

Strong winds mainly from westerly direction with speeds occasionally reaching 35-45 kmph gusting to 60 kmph were likely along and off Kerala coast and over Lakshadweep area.

PTI

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