Declare Kerala floods national calamity: CPI

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New Delhi : The CPI on Friday urged the union government to declare Kerala floods as a "national calamity" and enlist the services of the armed forces for rescue and relief operations.

"This is a national tragedy. I request the government to proclaim it as a national tragedy and rush assistance to the people of Kerala immediately," Binoy Viswam, a Communist Party of India leader from Kerala said while raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

In Kerala, floodwaters have inundated large areas, claiming 27 lives in the last 48 hours, due to heavy rains and landslides. Several Kerala districts have been receiving heavy rains since Wednesday. Till Thursday, 24 people had died, while three more deaths were reported on Friday.

He said that life has come to a standstill in six Kerala districts.

"The people of Kerala are suffering a lot. This is the third time the small state is facing a serious situation because of floods. My request is that the central government should ask the Indian Air Force, the Navy and the Army to undertake relief and rescue work," he said.

Viswam said that though the state government was trying to face the situation by all means, it alone cannot face the situation.

"So, I request the the central government to come and support Kerala and its people. In times of national tragedy, we, the people of Kerala, stretch our hands (for help) to the whole nation. Please come and support the people of Kerala," the CPI leader said.