Kochi, Aug 18 (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took off in a helicopter from here to survey the massive loss and destruction triggered by the torrential rains in Kerala.
Overflowing rivers and a series of landslides have resulted in the death of 180 people as of Saturday morning, with over 3 lakh others forced to move to some 2,000 relief camps.
Modi, who arrived here from the state capital, is being accompanied by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, State Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran and other top state officials.
His visit comes at a time when the Congress-led opposition has been demanding immediate deployment of the Army since the state government has been unable to deal with the crisis.
Before returning to Delhi from Kochi later on Saturday, the Prime Minister will chair a meeting to discuss the situation.
Rains subsided on Saturday morning resulting in the water level in Idukki and parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts coming down.
But on Friday night, air lifting could not take place in Chengannur as the incessant rains continued in the region.
Prime Minister arrives in Kerala capital
Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 18 (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Friday night to see for himself the rain-battered Kerala and also survey the relief and rescue operations.
Torrential rains, overflowing rivers and a series of landslides have resulted in the death of 174 people, leaving over three lakh people in over 2,000 relief camps.
The Prime Minister was received by Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his cabinet colleagues among others.
He will spend the night at the Kerala Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor.
On Saturday, Modi along with Vijayan will make an aerial survey of the worst affected districts. Before returning to Delhi from Kochi, the Prime Minister will chair a meeting to discuss the grave situation in the state.
Earlier in the day Modi had tweeted "Later this evening, I will be heading to Kerala to take stock of the unfortunate situation due to flooding."
"Had a telephone conversation with Kerala Chief Minister...We discussed the flood situation across the state and reviewed rescue operations."