Kerala floods: UAE provides relief assistance

India deploys military to save southern residents trapped by flood

Rescuers used helicopters and boats to evacuate thousands of people stranded on their rooftops following unprecedented flooding in the southern Indian state of Kerala that killed more than 320 people, officials say.

People wait for aid on the roof of their house at a flooded area in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 17, 2018.

With heavy rains stopping after a week, rescuers moved quickly to take those marooned by floods to 1,500 state-run camps.

The state is "facing the worst floods in 100 years", chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Twitter, adding that at least 324 lives have been lost so far.

Torrential rains in Kerala have triggered the state's worst flooding in almost a century, destroying thousands of homes and roads.

Heavy rain since August 8 has triggered floods and landslides and caused homes and bridges to collapse across Kerala, a picturesque state known for its quiet tropical backwaters and lovely beaches.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited the state on Saturday, announced an assistance of 5 billion Indian rupees ($71 million) against his request for 20 billion.

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The Cabinet Secretary Shri PK Sinha, during the review meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) today, has directed that focus should now be on provision of emergency supplies of food, water, medicines and restoration of essential services such as power, fuel, telecom and transport links as flood water recedes in Kerala.

The Humanitarian Director of Save the Children Ray Kancharla said Kerala had not experienced such a big disaster and the recovery process would require a lot of work, investment, and resources.

With no end in sight to the deluge, people all over the state of 33 million people have made panic-stricken appeals on social media for help, saying they can not make contact with rescue services.

The rescue operations are in full swing and efforts are also underway to ensure people in camps have enough food and water to sustain themselves.

Vijayan had stated that he would see to it that Hanan would get all the help she could from the government of Kerela.

Mobile phone operators have been offering free data and SMS messages across Kerala since Saturday to assist with distress calls.

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. In a series of tweets, he said: "I salute the people of Kerala for their fighting spirit". Kochi airport has shut operation till August 26 while road and train access is also limited due to waterlogging.

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