Kochi, Aug 19 (IANS): A 90-member team of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India on Sunday began rescue operations in the flood-ravaged Kerala using 17 wide-body rafts brought in from Rishikesh, its team leader said.
Speaking to IANS, Sam T.Samuel, who runs the Kalypso Adventures here, said that it was with the help of the Indian Air Force that they were able to get these rafts from Rishikesh making it possible to begin the rescue operations in Paravur, Ernakulam district.
“Each raft can carry eight people. These rafts are paddle ones and hence no fuel is required. Our group of volunteers are expert rafters,” said Samuel, a retired naval pilot.
Paravur remains one of the worst affected in the rains that started on August 9, causing destruction across Kerala, rendering lakhs of people homeless and claiming 370 lives so far.
While many from this area are in relief camps, thousands still await rescue. On Saturday, six people died after a wall of a Church collapsed.