Thiruvananthapuram: Army and Air Force personnel are working in full swing taking forward the disaster relief and rescue operations being undertaken at the various disaster-hit districts of Kerala. As many as eight columns of the Army have been deployed in different parts of the state.
The rain havoc has left close to 27 people dead already. Massive landslides, torrential rains and flooding of rivers have left Kerala crippled. Besides, more shutters being opened at the different dams in the region has caused flooding of rivers, making it unsafe for people to stay downstream and around the anks.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has termed the disaster situation alarming and has appealed to people living in the region to stay safe. The Chief Minister has also cancelled all programmes so as to monitor the rescue and relief operations. He also called upon the people to contribute generously to the relief fund.
The Army station located at Pangode in Thiruvananthapuram had already deployed one column of Army personnel under the supervision of a Captain rank officer in Idukki district. They are stationed at Adimali in Idukki and rescue operation is progressing.
The DSC Kannur has deployed one column of DSC personnel to Idukki. Thus Idukki now has two column of defence personnel in operation. Meanwhile, the DSC Kannur has deployed four more columns at Iritty, Thamarassery, Wayanad and Malappuram.
The rescue mission in Wayanad district is controlled by a Lieutenant Colonel. One column of Army posted by DSC Kannur at Wayanad divided themselves into two groups and one in Vaithiri and Panamaram areas of Wayanad. They are carrying out rescue operations in close association with the Civil Administration.
The DSC personnel with three columns cleared road blocks so as to clear flow of water in the right direction and made temporary bridges at the Thamarassery ghat and Kozhikode. Due to the unfavourable climate, the team took almost eight hours to travel 46 km.
Two columns of MEG of Indian Army from Bangalore and one column from Hyderabad were deployed in various affected areas.
The Indian Air Force has pressed into action two helicopters for the search and rescue operation. One Mi-17IV and an ALH helicopters have been deployed from Sulur Air Force base. One AN-32 aircraft was flown to Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu to airlift the NDRF personnel for enhanced rescue operations and brought them to Kozhikode.
The timely intervention and assistance by the defence forces have been helping the affected people to be brought to safer places. The rescue operations carried out by Army and Air Force in association with NDRF personnel is still going on.