Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to aerially survey flood-hit Kerala on Saturday. More than 160 people have been killed and over 1.5 lakh moved to relief camps in the State. Mr. Modi also spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday and offered him all assistance. A high level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary met again on Friday to discuss the flood situation. A senior Home Ministry official said the use of the Naval airstrip at Kochi by airlines has been offered to the Kerala government as the civilian airport remained closed. A team of officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation will be travelling to Cochin on Saturday to test whether smaller turboprop flight operations can take place from the naval airbase, following which a decision will be taken to start civilian flights, according to Secretary, R.N. Choubey.
The Railways have provided 1,20,000 water bottles. Another 1,20,000 bottles are ready to be despatched. A special train carrying 2.9 lakh litres of drinking water is scheduled to reach Kayamkulam on Saturday. The Kerala government has been advised to explore use of V-SAT communication links in areas where telephone connectivity has been disrupted, the spokesperson said.