Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Flooding in India's Kerala leaves 350 dead, 800 000 displaced

Flooding in India's Kerala leaves 350 dead, 800 000 displaced

Since August 8- the start of an unusually heavy bout of monsoon rains that led to what has been described as Kerala's worst flooding in almost a century- some 239 people have died and more than 700,000 people were taken to relief camps, according to figures released by the state government on Sunday.

The downpours that started August 8 have triggered floods and landslides and caused homes and bridges to collapse across Kerala, a picturesque state known for its quiet tropical backwaters and lovely beaches. Thus far, more than 900 people have been killed during this year's monsoon season in India.

The lull in the rain over the weekend may yet prove temporary.

More than 200,000 people are homeless, with reports of hundreds stranded on rooftops awaiting aid.

Following the meeting, Minister Vijayan said an initial assessment indicated the floods caused an estimated $2.7 billion in damages. "Their phone battery died and now I am not getting any update", said Mr Kumar, a software engineer. Several people have been left homeless.

In Chengannur, local politician Saji Cherian earlier broke down in tears on TV describing the crisis there.

The cabinet secretary directed five more helicopters to be mobilised by the IAF, Navy and ONGC which will be pressed into service by Sunday, the statement said. I am begging you. We must all contribute to help the distressed and the affected people. "People have to be airlifted".

Responding to the Kerala opposition's demand that the rescue operations should be handed over to the Army, state CPI-M secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala was playing politics when the state was facing one of the worst ever natural disasters.

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"They managed to get them to a relative's place nearby", he told The National.

Meanwhile, a group of stranded fishermen who came to help with the rescue work in Alapuzzha from the state capital complained over the lack of coordination between authorities. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced, we will stand with our friends in the hardship that the state of Kerala has gone through due to heavy rain and floods.

1,500 Number of relief centres set up.

The deadly rains and high waters deluging the southern Indian state of Kerala are receding, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs said Saturday.

"Germs spread quickly in these conditions, and water-borne diseases like dysentery, typhoid and cholera are particular problems", Mr Chacko told The National. We have decided that as the situation becomes normal, passports damaged on account floods shall be replaced free of charge.

On Saturday, Mr Vijayan reassured reporters that the state had an ample stock of food. The situation in Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad and Wayanad inched towards comparative normalcy as rains slowed and the water level receded, with many living in crowded relief camps awaiting to return home. It will take days to clean to make it liveable.

At least 1,500 pharmacies around Kerala have been partially or fully submerged, according to the All Kerala Chemists and Drugs Association. "What we need right now is bottled water, which is easy to transport to remote and isolated places, where some people are still stranded", Kurian said.

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