The Union government has sanctioned Rs 80 crore to Kerala as initial assistance to deal with "unprecedented rains and floods," Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said today(21 July) after visiting the State with a central team.

The team headed by Rijiju and accompanied by Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam arrived in Kochi on Saturday morning.

They will visit the rain-affected districts, including Kottayam, Alappuzha and Ernakulam. National Disaster Response Force member KR Jain, Chief Secretary Tom Jose, Home Ministry joint secretary Sanjeev Kumar Jindal are the other members of the team. State ministers G Sudhakaran and VS Sunil Kumar will guide the team to the disaster-hit regions of the state.

"We issued Rs 80 crore yesterday and the state government has some amount," Rijiju said, adding the centre and the state would work together to deal with the situation. He said damage caused due to flooding was being calculated.

"We will extend whatever possible help from the Government of India because Kerala has witnessed unprecedented rains and floods. We are with the people of Kerala and the central government will do whatever is required," Rijiju told reporters.

So far 41 people have died in Kerala due to rain-related incidents. Kuttanadu in Alappuzha district is the worst-hit area. Several relief camps have been set up and over one lakh people have taken refuge.