Odisha sends fire services team to Kerala

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 18 (IANS) The Odisha government on Saturday sent a 240-member fire services team to carry out rescue operations in flood-ravaged Kerala.

The team along with 75 power boats was airlifted by the Indian Air Force from Biju Patnaik International Airport here. The mission was flagged off by Director General (Fire Services) B.K. Sharma.

“On request of the Centre, the state government is sending a team of fire personnel to Kerala for rescue operations,” Sharma said.

“This is certainly a matter of pride for the Odisha fire services department. Earlier, Odisha fire personnel had done a tremendous job during Cyclone Hudhud in Andhra Pradesh. They are deployed with modern equipment. We hope that our fire personnel will play a crucial role in the operations,” he added.

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Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also announced Rs 5 crore as financial assistance for the flood victims.

The Odisha government has set up a 24-hour helpline 1070 and 0674-2534177 at the Special Relief Commissioner’s (SRC) office.

About 130 people from Odisha have taken shelter in a house at Aluva Munnar Road, Odapally after being affected by the floods, said an official.

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.

–IANS

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