Acknowledging and praising the efforts of the armed forces, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the death toll in Kerala floods would have been much higher had not the military provided timely assistance to people in the flood-wrecked state.
At a formal farewell function held at Air Force Station at Shanghumukham on Sunday, in honour of Central forces, Mr Vijayan said the calamity would have been greater if the armed forces hadn't worked together with the Kerala government.
"We could directly witness the bold initiatives they took to rescue those who were stranded in the flood waters," he added.
Mr Vijayan appreciated the military and paramilitary forces, who saved the helpless, braving adverse circumstances, an official statement said. "All that we can say is that your services will be kept in mind in the times to come too, with gratitude and appreciation."
The chief minister presented citations to Air Marshal B. Suresh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command, and Rear Admiral R.J. Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command, among others.
Air Marshal Suresh said they could act efficiently because of the clear directions given by the Chief Minister. "He was leading from the front."
The Air Marshal also appreciated the volunteers, fishermen and all those who were part of the rescue and relief activities and saluted the "indomitable spirit of Malayalees".
Hundreds have been killed and hundreds of thousands made homeless in the worst floods to hit Kerala since 1924.
(Kerala has to rebuild itself after the worst floods in over a century. Hundreds have died and lakhs are homeless. Here is how you can help.)
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