Centre sanctions Rs 52 crore to Kerala, flood death toll hits 93

NEW DELHI/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Centre has sanctioned Rs 52 crore immediate assistance to Kerala, which has been battered by rain and floods, while the state government has sanctioned three-month free ration for the victims of natural disaster.
This was announced by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan. Medicines worth Rs 4 crore would also be sent, he added.
“I was told by the Union Minister of State for Home that when he asked the Kerala Chief Minister if he was happy with the Centre’s response, Pinarayi Vijayan remarked, ‘This is enough’,” said Muraleedharan, who will be touring Wayanad and Malappuram on Friday.
According to the latest figures, the rain-induced death toll in Kerala has reached 93 and around 2.24 lakh people were staying at 1,243 relief camps.
Kerala Minister for Food and Civil Supplies P Thilothaman said in the state capital on Tuesday three-month free ration would be provided to flood victims. “Of course, the Centre has to provide supplies. But what we have in stock will be distributed,” said Thilothaman.
The worst-hit districts include Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur, Kasargode, Idukki, Kottayam, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Palakkad.
The meteorological department has issued a red alert in Malappuram and Kozhikode for Wednesday and all educational institutions at Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode shall be closed on that day.
State Health Minister K K Shailaja after a review meeting said with people returning to their homes would be shocked to see the condition of their houses. “Special counselling sessions would be conducted and people are advised to follow medical professionals’ advice,” said Shailaja.

TOURISTS RESCUED
As many as 365 tourists, including 100 from overseas, were rescued from the world famous Hampi heritage site in Karnataka, as heavy rains and flash floods stranded them over the last 2-3 days, an official said on Tuesday.
“The Indian Air Force (IAF) crew airlifted the marooned tourists in MI-17 helicopter and the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, in batches from a guest house near the Virupapura gadde (island) temple at the Hampi heritage site to the Vijayanagar airport between Hospet and Ballari towns in the state’s northwest region over the last two days,” said the official in Bengaluru.
— IANS