Rescuers plead for help as thousands stranded in flooded Kerala

Lester Mason
August 20, 2018

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

Thousands of people in flood-hit areas in Kerala are battling all odds to survive as the death toll has crossed 195 in the past 10 days in the second spell of monsoon fury since August 8. In isolated pockets, the water level wasn't draining quickly enough and people remained stranded.

In the hilly district of Idukki, rescuers told the Press Trust of India of working through the night to save a newborn boy and his mother from the rising waters. "We're safe compared to many others, but we're cut off", said James Joseph Moolakkaat, owner of an agricultural business who lives in a 10-story building across the southwestern state's Periyar river.

Along with personnel of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the NDRF, hundreds of fishermen and local people are engaged in relief operations.

File PicThe rescue and relief operations in flood-hit Kerala are in full swing.

Water is receding in numerous flooded areas.Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, the last stage of rescue operations has been progressing now. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association has also volunteered to fly aircrafts without payment for the rescue and relief operations. Some 350,000 people have been left homeless and taken shelter in relief camps.

Thousands of stranded people are waiting for rescue as relentless monsoon floods continue to batter the south Indian state of Kerala, where more than 200 people have died in a little over a week. Additional motorboats have also been put on standby for deployment.

An flooded area in Kerala.

"Kerala is witnessing an unprecedented challenge and it calls for the unified efforts of all to support the state and its people".

"Assured the people of the state that entire nation was with them", the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.

"A total of 526 survivors have been winched up, 29 tonnes of relief material air-dropped so far and 47,125kg of food items and medicines distributed", he said.

The assistance is in addition to 100 crore rupees announced by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week.

"My heart goes out to the people of Kerala battling #KeralaFloods In this hour of crisis, to stand beside the flood-affected people of Kerala, we have chose to make a contribution of Rs Ten Crore to the Chief Ministers Distress Relief Fund", Banerjee wrote in her Twitter handle.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan thanked Sheikh Mohammed on Saturday, calling him a "true friend of Kerala" and saying the "people of Kerala will not forget this kind gesture shown in our time of need". Accusing Modi government of "playing politics" on the issue when Kerala people are suffering, spokesperson Surjewala said the financial assistance was "pittance".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter Saturday that he sends his deepest condolences to those affected, and a spokesperson for Global Affairs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In this, realtors, umbrella bodies, MCHI and CREDAI have contributed foodgrains worth Rs 1.50 crore while the Rajasthani Welfare Association and JITO have extended help of Rs 51 lakh each.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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