Pounded by rain, inundated by flood waters and struck by multiple landslides, Idukki district – one of the worst-hit – remains cut off from the other parts of Kerala, making it extremely difficult for officials to undertake relief and rescue operations. With food and water running out, Idukki MP Joice George sent out an SOS voice message to anyone who could help people in the district.
With power supply cut off, communication lines down and with most roads to the district block, Joice George states, “Idukki is in an alarming situation right now. Most of the areas in Idukki have been isolated, and most of the roads leading to Idukki have been completely destroyed. There is no way to communicate with each other. It is a situation where we can’t even retrieve people’s bodies from the sand.”
He goes on to say, “Officials who have come for rescue operations like the NDRF and Navy are not able to reach the places affected because of poor roads. People are literally holding on to their dear life, they don’t have food to eat or clothes to wear.”
While thousands have been evacuated to relief camps, the MP points out that supplying food and other materials to these shelters is also challenging. Appealing to anyone who listens to his message, Joice George says, “Because of these conditions, I am calling for help from people who are listening to this from other areas, – you can help us in the form of bringing food, clothes.” He adds that Idukki, which borders Tamil Nadu is accessible only from the neighbouring state. “Right now only people from Tamil Nadu are able to reach us and it is because of them, we are able to get food and water. If a relief camp has to function properly we need the support of all the people. So kindly get in touch with anyone who can help us.”
Joice George isn’t the only elected leader who is appealing for help. Late on Friday evening, Chengannur MLA Saji Cheriyan made a tearful appeal on a television channel. The lawmaker was begging for more helicopters and to be brought in for the rescue operations.
“Please give us a helicopter. I am begging you. Please help me, people in my place will die. Please help us. There is no other solution, people have to be airlifted. We did what we can with fishing boats we procured using our political clout. But we can’t do more. The armed forces need to come here, please help us,” he said in his distress message.