Published: Tue, August 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

India floods death toll climbs, tens of thousands await rescue

India floods death toll climbs, tens of thousands await rescue

Heavy rain is likely to subside today in the flood-hit state, the weather office has said, though light rain has been forecast at least till Saturday.

About 800,000 people have been displaced and more than 350 have died in the worst flooding in a century in southern India's Kerala state, according to officials.

As of Sunday, the toll from the torrential rains and the subsequent floods that have ravaged Kerala since August 9 stood at 370. Apart from the central command and control room at North Block, a WhatsApp group of senior officials has been operational for seamless coordination, officials said. Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam are the worst affected districts where many people are stranded inside their houses, schools, colleges. Around 1.7 lakh people have been shifted to relief camps in the state.

Kerala, which usually receives high rainfall, has seen more than 250 percent more rain than normal between August 8 and August 15.

A massive rescue and relief operation has been launched in Kerala.

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The Telangana IAS Officers Association made a decision to donate one day's salary of the serving officers to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund of the Kerala government while the Telangana Gazetted Officers' Association had handed over cheque of ₹10 crore to Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi as their contribution for relief and rehabilitation of the affected families.

The state, ruled by the communist party, has received just a third of the immediate assistance of $285 million it sought from the federal government. The PM also said the Centre would help rebuild homes, provide assistance to farmers, and additional funds under the employment guarantee scheme. Officials from Kerala had called to thank Telangana for its help so far including Rs 25 crore cash, 50 reverse osmosis water purifiers and nutritious food for children.

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. "We also appeal to all MPs to consider donating their one month's salary for the objective", Naidu said in his appeal.

An Indian navy team built a temporary rope bridge across a stream in Thrissur on Sunday to rescue 100 people who had been stranded for days.

Fishermen from across Kerala have also come together to aid the relief efforts. Authorities were also seeking to restore regular supplies of clean drinking water and electricity to the state's 33 million residents. As communication services have taken a hit due to the floods, the department of telecom has enabled intra-circle roaming, which will enable subscribers of one service provider to access mobile towers of other service providers.

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