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Kerala flood: Thousands still trapped
August 18, 2018, 8:48 am
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Thousands of people have been taken to safety but 6,000 more still waiting for rescue, authorities say

Pressure intensified on Saturday to save thousands still trapped by devastating floods that have killed more than 300 in the Indian state of Kerala, triggering landslides and sending torrents sweeping through villages in the region's worst inundation crisis in a century.

Authorities warned of more torrential rain and strong winds over the weekend, as hundreds of troops and local fishermen staged desperate rescue attempts in helicopters and boats across the southern state.

Authorities said thousands of people have been taken to safety so far but 6,000 more are still waiting for rescue. "We are deploying more boats and the army to ramp up rescue operations," senior state government official P.H. Kurian told AFP.

Helicopters have also been dropping emergency food and water supplies, while special trains carrying drinking water have been sent to Kerala.

Helpline Do you know someone who needs help?

Here are the Kerala helpline numbers: State Emergency Operations Centre: 0471-23664424; Toll Free Numbers: 1077, 1070

Alarm signs

• All the 44 rivers in Kerala are overflowing at present

• 33 water reservoirs in Kerala have opened their floodgates after incessant rain in catchment areas

• Death toll reaches 324, more than 200,000 homeless

• Southern Railway and Kochi Metro have suspended their operations.

• Red alert in 13 of 14 districts in Kerala

• One of three major airports in the state, Cochin International Airport shut down till August 26

• Holiday declared for all educational institutions in Kerala; exams cancelled

• State government has cancelled Onam celebrations

More than 300 killed

More than 300 people have been killed in the Indian state of Kerala by the worst flooding to hit the region in a century, authorities said on Friday, as troop reinforcements stepped up rescue efforts.

The state - a key international tourist draw with its tropical mountains and beaches - has been battered by record monsoon rainfall in recent days and is "facing the worst flood in 100 years", chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

In a Twitter statement released by his office, he said there had been "324 lives lost", a tripling of the death toll in the last 24 hours. Vijayan added that 223,139 people have been moved to more than 1,500 relief camps.

Modi arrives in Kerala Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in capital of Kerala on Friday night to see for himself the rain-battered Kerala and also survey the relief and rescue operations.

On Saturday, Modi along with Vijayan will make an aerial survey of the worst affected districts. Before returning to Delhi from Kochi, the Prime Minister will chair a meeting to discuss the grave situation in the state.

Earlier in the day Modi had tweeted "Later this evening, I will be heading to Kerala to take stock of the unfortunate situation due to flooding."

"Had a telephone conversation with Kerala Chief Minister...We discussed the flood situation across the state and reviewed rescue operations."

Source: Agencies

 

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