Centre mobilises rescue operations in Kerala

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New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on Friday decided to mobilise additional resources of all agencies, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to provide assistance to Kerala.

Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, in a meeting chaired by him, directed these organisations to provide boats, helicopters, life jackets, life buoys, raincoats, gumboots, inflatable tower lights among other things.

Kerala Chief Secretary requested for motorised boats so as to reach people marooned in flood-affected areas, a government statement said.

It was the second meeting of the NCMC in two days. It will meet again on Saturday to review the situation.

Kerala is battling one of the worst rains and flood with the death toll touching 164 in 10 days.

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The Centre has so far mobilised 339 motorised boats, 2,800 life jackets, 1,400 lifebuoys, 27 light towers and 1,000 raincoats.

A total of 72 motor boats, 5,000 life jackets, 2,000 lifebuoys, 13 light towers and 1,000 raincoats were also deployed.

Indian Navy has deployed 51 boats along with diving teams, 1,000 life jackets and 1,300 gumboots. It flew 16 sorties in 48 hours in rescue operations.

Coast Guard has deployed 30 boats along with rescue teams, 300 life jackets, seven life rafts and 144 lifebuoys.

The IAF deployed 23 helicopters and 11 transport aircraft. Some of the aircraft are being flown in from Yelahanka and Nagpur.

The Army pressed into service 10 columns, 10 Engineering Task Forces (ETFs), 60 boats and 100 life jackets.

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NDRF has mobilised 43 rescue teams and 163 boats along with other equipment.

The Cabinet Secretary directed these organisations to mobilise additional boats and equipment including from CRPF, BSF and SSB.

–IANS

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