Biggest-ever rescue operation launched in Kerala

Biggest-ever rescue operation launched in Kerala

Wayanad: NDRF personnel rescue the flood-hit people in Wayanad, Kerala. PTI photo

The NDRF has evacuated over 10,000 people from the heavy rains and flood waters affected areas of Kerala till now as it said it has launched its biggest-ever relief and rescue operation in the country till date.

The deadliest deluge in Kerala in close to a century has claimed 194 lives since August 8.

A total of 58 teams of the force have been deputed to work in Kerala out of which 55 are working on the ground. Three teams are on their way, a spokesperson for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said.

"The force has intensified its rescue and relief operations in the flood-ravaged state of Kerala. 

"This is the highest ever deployment of NDRF in a single state since its raising (in 2006) and hence this becomes this becomes our biggest-ever disaster response operation till date," he said.

Each team of the federal disaster contingency force has about 35-40 personnel.

He said the teams, till now, have rescued 194 persons and 12 animals while it has evacuated a total of 10,467 persons.

"Pre-hospital treatment has been administered to 159 people till now. Operations are still on," the spokesperson said.

The NDRF teams are operational at present in Thrissur (15), Pathanamthitta (13), Alappuzha (11), Ernakulum (5), Idukki (4), Mallapuram (3), Wayanad and Kozhikode (2 each). 

The spokesperson said that a control room based here was monitoring the situation round-the-clock and was in close touch with other agencies and stakeholders involved to provide succour to the affected people.

As per information from the control room of the State Disaster Management, since August 8, 194 people have lost their lives and 36 are missing. Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps. 

'OPERATION MADAD' further scaled up
Operation Madad has been further scaled up to meet the increasing requests for rescue from more and more parts of Kerala. SNC rescue teams have been augmented by Gemini boats, divers and other resources from both Eastern and Western Naval Commands of the India Navy. As of 4:30 pm on 18 August, the tenth day of #OperationMadad, the total number of diving teams deployed is 72, which have been distributed to multiple locations. Eight newly inducted teams were sent out to various locations since early morning, to augment those already in place. Forty-two teams with one Gemini boat each are deployed in Ernakulam district at various places.

One team is at Pizhala island, one at Edapally,  three at Perumbavur, 16 at North Paravur, 14 at Aluva, four at Muvattupuzha and two at Kadangallur. In the Thrissur district, the deployment at Chalakkudy has also been augmented to ten teams, while in Pathanamthitta district, ten teams are deployed at Chengannur and one team each at Ayroor and Pullad. Meanwhile, the deployment at Wayanad district was scaled down as conditions have improved there and presently two naval teams with Gemini boats are deployed at Porunnannur.  Altogether, rescue teams have been able to rescue more than 3375 people by boats, on Saturday.

In addition, all air assets available at INS Garuda have been extensively utilised for winching up stranded personnel, transfer of stores, boats, relief material, etc. Air rescue has been carried out at various places of the three worst affected districts; namely, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta. Various aircraft including ALH, Sea King, Chetak and MI 17 (of IAF) were able to rescue more than 154 people till now. Food packets along with bottled water were also airdropped on the rooftops of various houses/ churches. 

 Approximately 350 rescued people have been accommodated at the T2 hangar inside the Naval Base, which has been converted into a makeshift relief camp. Another relief camp set up by the Naval Armament Depot, Aluva catered for another 170 persons. The Naval Kindergarten (NKG) School within the Naval Base has also been converted into a relief camp and approximately 250 persons have been accommodated there. Two Kendriya Vidyalayas, close to the Naval Base and administered by SNC, have also been kept standby as additional relief camps to house more displaced persons.    

 A community kitchen set up by INS Venduruthy at the campus of Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) is catering for 7000 people. 17 cooks, 4 officers and 13 staff are relentlessly working to serve all three meals and tea twice a day for the needy. The demand for food includes that for 2000 persons at UC College. The state government authorities have also contributed to this kitchen, providing condiments and other edible items for its smooth functioning. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kochi on 18 August to survey the flood-affected areas by helicopter and took a review of the rescue operations being undertaken by various agencies, including the Indian Navy.

- with inputs from Press Information Bureau {Defence Wing} Government of India