Kochi, April 4: One hundred thirty Keralites, including four children, were among the 330 Indians who arrived on an Air India flight in Kochi early on Saturday.
The flight landed at 12.30 am and by 1.30 am, all the Keralites were out of the airport, R S Kannan, CEO of Roots-Norka, a state-owned body that looks after the welfare of Kerala diaspora, told IANS.
“The rest of them proceeded to Mumbai and 56 Keralites who landed in Mumbai last night will arrive in Kerala today. We gave all those who arrived here a token sum of Rs.2000 and free transport facility to their home,” said Kannan.
A nurse who did not wish to be identified said things were grave in Yemen.
“There are so many Keralites waiting to return and yesterday, we were just 28 nurses who were on the flight. Had there been a second round of evacuation from Sanaa to Dijbouti from where we took off to here, another 400 people would have been able to come. We are told that today there will be an air evacuation from Sanaa airport,” said the nurse.
Meanwhile, another person said the situation is really tough now and there are around 8000 Indians of which 6000 are nurses and at the moment, only around 2000 have been evacuated.
“In Sanaa alone there are 4000 Indians waiting to return,” said the returnee.
Meanwhile a Kerala nurse from Yemen told the media here over phone that they were all waiting to reach the Aden port.
“Yesterday, while we were on our way, there were gunshots on our vehicle. The tyres were hit and then we were forced to return back. We are waiting to get to the port of Aden, where we are told that there is a ship waiting to take us back. We are all in prayers,” said the nurse.
Meanwhile, Kerala Minister of Diaspora K.C. Joseph said a lot of people still need to be evacuated and the state is in touch with the central government and the Indian Embassy officials in Yemen.