Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Thousands stranded in India as deadly monsoon floods continue

India deploys military to save southern residents trapped by flood 80% of Animals Were Killed in Recent Kerala Floods, But Rescuers Are Determined to Help Any Survivors They Can
Ellis Copeland | 19 August, 2018, 13:31

More than 300 people have died in Kerala since the monsoon started in June, including 170 since torrential rains began in August.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, where many Keralites work, said he had formed a committee to extend emergency assistance to the flood victims of the state, whose people he said "have always been and are still part of our success story".

"Since May 29, when the monsoon starts in Kerala, a total of 357 people have lost their lives until now", a statement from the state's information officer said on Sunday, with 33 losing their lives over the last 24 hours.

They used more than a dozen helicopters and about 400 boats across the state, relief officials said.

The NDRF has evacuated over 10,000 people from the heavy rains and flood waters affected areas of Kerala till now as it said it has launched its biggest-ever relief and rescue operation in the country till date.

Earlier, there were reports that the prime minister's helicopter could not take-off for an aerial survey of flood affected areas due to bad weather.

He pointed out that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had visited the State on August 12 and pledged ₹100 crores, followed by Prime Minister Modi's visit on Saturday after which a slew of measures for relief were announced.

State Bank of India on Saturday announced a temporary waiver of various charges and fees on banking transactions in flood ravaged Kerala.

Crews in more than 30 military helicopters and 320 boats are attempting rescues across Kerala.

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Modi, who arrived in the state capital on Friday night, reached Kochi accompanied by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekheran and other top state officials.

More heavy rains are expected in isolated areas on Saturday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

'No water and food.

Other distressed messages were shared online from people trapped inside temples and hospitals as well as their homes.

More than 321 centimetres (126 inches) of rain has fallen on the hilly central district of Idukki, which is now virtually cut off from the rest of the state.

Many roads and railways have been shut, and one of the state's major airports, in the city of Kochi, has also closed.

Officials say many houses are irreparably damaged across the state and have warned residents against trying to return to them.

Saji Cherian, member of the legislative assembly from Chengannur, said at least 50,000 people like Kunjamma were struggling for their lives in his constituency.

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