Kozhikode: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday urged the state and Central governments to provide immediate assistance to those affected by the floods in Kerala and promised to do everything possible to get the people back on their feet. After pounding Kerala for days, rains abated on Sunday even as the death toll in the monsoon fury climbed to 67 with over 2.27 lakh people being sheltered in relief camps across the state.
"It is heart-breaking to see what all the people of Wayanad have lost. We will do everything in our power to help them get back on their feet," Gandhi tweeted after visiting people affected by floods and landslides in his constituency.
"I visited Kavalapara, the site of the landslide in Bhoothanam. Several people are still trapped and rescue operations are underway but more help is required immediately", he said.
"I visited MES MAMPAD COLLEGE RELIEF CAMP, to meet with the victims of the flood. I have assured them we will appeal to the State & Central govt. to provide immediate assistance & we will help in any way possible," Gandhi said in another tweet.
Earlier on his arrival at the nearby Karipur airport on Sunday afternoon, he drove straight to Kavalappara village in Nilambur district, which has been ravaged by massive landslides.
Gandhi gathered details from officials and locals about the "unfortunate incident" in the hamlet, where several people are believed to be buried in the landslide which occurred four days ago, Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala assembly, Ramesh Chennithala told PTI.
According to the locals, several houses spreading across a bustling settlement in the village were completely wiped of the scene in the landslide occurred four days ago.
Some 60 people are feared buried alive under the debris of the massive landslide. The area is now covered by mud and slush, making rescue operations tough.
Besides Chennithala, Gandhi was accompanied by KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran and AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal. Gandhi visited a relief camp opened at a church in Pothukal near Kavalappara and interacted with those displaced by floods and landslides.
The Congress leader assured them all possible help to come out of the situation.
After visiting Kavalappara, the Wayanad MP proceeded to Mampad, where he visited a relief camp being operated at the MES College, as also another camp, before reaching the Malappuram Guest House.
At the Guest House, Gandhi will hold a review meeting with district administration officials, Congress sources said. Three assembly segments in Malappuram district form part of his Wayanad constituency.
Gandhi, who won with a record margin from the hill constituency in the April Lok Sabha elections, said during his stay he would visit relief camps across Wayanad and review relief measures with state government officials.
"For the next few days I will be based in my Lok Sabha constituency, #Wayanad that has been ravaged by floods. I will be visiting relief camps across Wayanad and reviewing relief measures with District & State officials," he tweeted.
Several people have so far lost their lives in Wayanad and Malappuram districts in the monsoon fury while many are feared missing in a major landslide.
Gandhi had said he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the District Collector of Wayanad and Congress workers in the state regarding the flood situation in his constituency.
This is his second visit to Wayanad after the election. Earlier, he had come on a three-day thanksgiving visit when he addressed road shows and public meetings in the constituency.
Gandhi chose Wayanad as his second seat in addition to party stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, which he, however, lost in the 2019 polls.