Kochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the flood situation in rain-battered Kerala at a high-level meeting in Kochi on Saturday. He later announced an interim relief of Rs 500 crore to Kerala where torrential rain caused massive destruction.

PM Modi, after an overnight stay in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, left for Kochi Saturday morning for the aerial survey and the review meeting to get a first-hand knowledge of the enormity of the mayhem caused by the southwest monsoon.

Chengannur in Pathanamthitta, Chalakudy in Thrissur and various parts of Ernakulam district are among the worst hit where rescue efforts are likely to be concentrated on Saturday.

The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government has sought more helicopters for airlifting people marooned since the past four days in some remote areas as airlifting is the only option to rescue them.

As per information from the control room of the State Disaster Management, since August 8, 194 persons have lost their lives so far and 36 are missing. Over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps.

Meanwhile, rains lashing several parts of the state since this morning are causing concern as it could hamper the rescue and relief operations.

According to the weather report, heavy rains accompanied with gusty wind speed reaching 60 kilometers per hour is expected in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki and Ernakulam districts. The state is facing its worst flood in 100 years with 80 dams opened and all rivers in spate.

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