Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kerala floods: Images after worse deluge in a century

Kerala floods: Images after worse deluge in a century

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the state's top officials on Saturday and promised more than $70m in aid.

At least 36 more people were missing, according to Kerala's disaster management office.

Journalist Nikhila Henry said, "Red alert in all 14 districts; thousands crying out for their lives, 35 dams opened, the fourth busiest airport in the country remains closed; still this has not been declared as a national calamity; isn't it because Kerala is not part of India?", reports Firstpost.

"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.

Hundreds of troops and local fishermen are staging desperate rescue attempts with helicopters and boats across the southern state, which draws global tourists to its tropical hills and beaches.

In the wake of massive floods in Kerala, the Centre today chose to open Kochi Naval airstrip for use by commercial aircraft by Monday and deploy five more choppers, taking the total number of aircraft used for rescue and relief to 96.

The BBC's Pramila Krishnan has visited relief camps in flood affected areas and said "Every resident in Kerala has been affected by the floods".

They are taking shelter in more than 2,000 relief camps.

Following the cancellation, Modi chaired a meeting with Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other officials and witnessed a video presentation of the widespread destruction across the state.

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Describing the situation in Kerala as "the most devastating in a century", the UAE Prime Minister added, "The state of Kerala in India is now witnessing huge floods, the most devastating in a century".

He has promised more helicopters, boats and other equipment needed to expand the rescue operation in the unfolding emergency.

Kerala's chief minister says the flooding is the worst the state has seen in 100 years.

Officials estimate more than 10,000km (6,200 miles) of roads have been damaged.

"For the past five days people are without food in many places".

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the railways was carrying drinking water from various states to Kerala. Many people are still stranded as they prefer to be in their homes.

The global airport, Kochi Airport, remains closed until August 26, officials said in a statement.

The New Delhi Television news channel reported that the state was facing a new crisis with some hospitals facing shortages of oxygen and gas stations running short of fuel.

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