Published: Tue, August 21, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Flooding in southern Indian state kills more than 350, displaces 800,000

Flooding in southern Indian state kills more than 350, displaces 800,000

Heavy rains have eased in the Indian state of Kerala, forecasters said on Sunday, offering some respite for the estimated tens of thousands of people who remain trapped after the worst floods in a century.

The Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard are assisting operations in different parts of Kerala.

The death toll began on May 29 when Kerala got the first of the monsoon rains.

The Cabinet Secretary directed five more helicopters to be mobilised by the Air Force, Navy and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), which will be pressed into service by Sunday.

About 1.2 million have been forced from their homes and are taking shelter in thousands of emergency camps which have been set up up around the state. Kerala so far has received 2346.6 mm rainfall from 1 June to 9 August against a normal level of 1649.5 mm (above normal by 42 percent).

"The fisherfolk have played a very remarkable role", said Isaac, Kerala's finance minister.

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Frayer reports that a red alert for flooding in the areas has been lifted and Kerala's chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the flooding "is under control".

Anil Vasudevan, who handles disaster management at Kerala's health department, said authorities had isolated three people with chickenpox in one of the relief camps in Aluva town, almost 250 km (155 miles) from state capital Thiruvananthapuram. CM had requested an immediate assistance of ₹2,000 crore. The state agency will also be joined by expert technicians from agencies attached to the governments of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka.

This note on the mossy roof of a two-storeyed building at Paravoor near Kochi can be read by personnel from helicopters engaged in rescue operations.

Meanwhile, with the rescue operations in the state reaching the final phase, the government has chose to undertake health, sanitation and precautionary measures on a big scale right away. "Some are in same clothes they wore when they were rescued days before", K Reshmi, who is camping in Pandalam Girls High School, said. "We also appeal to all MPs to consider donating their one month's salary for the goal", Naidu said in his appeal. Modi also pledged more than $70 million in aid as the Kerala tries to recover.

The worldwide airport in the city of Kochi, one of India's busiest airports, will remain closed until August 26, airport officials said in a statement. As the intensity of rains plunged, Kerala is expected to get back to routine life in the coming weeks, as people stand together to rebuild the society.

A supply truck transporting boats to flooded areas moves through a water-logged road in Aluva in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 18, 2018.

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