Death Toll Surpasses 350 in India's Kerala Flooding


"There was no power, no food and no water - even though it was all around us".

The death toll began on May 29 when Kerala got the first of the monsoon rains but the bulk of the fatalities were reported after August 9, when a tragedy of unprecedented proportion gripped the state after sluice gates of several rain-filled dams were opened.

In Thrissur, rescuers searching inundated houses discovered the bodies of those unable to escape as the floodwaters quickly rose. The authorities have withdrawn the red alert for all districts in Kerala.

"Some of them later gave distress calls when the water rose high and fast", he told AFP at the scene, where dead cattle and other livestock floated past. More than 100 dead and 200,000 left homeless. bad!

Minister Pinarayi praised the fishermen for joining the rescue mission.

"Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years".

The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been asked to mobilize additional manpower, boats and helicopters to scale up the rescue and relief operations. They have already launched 10,000 people so far.

Food, medicine and water has been dropped from helicopters to isolated areas.

Tens of thousands of people in the flooded Indian state of Kerala are stuck on rooftops without food, water and electricity in the still unfolding emergency.

More than 324 people have died in just over a week as the southern state experiences its worst flooding in a century, with rainfall in some areas well over double that of a typical monsoon season. Donations pour in from all over the country and parts of the world as lakhs have become homeless.

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The exact death toll is not known but it is thought to be in the thousands.

"Our solidarity and the concrete support of the worldwide community should not lack for our brothers", said Pope Francis.

Even before the latest warning, locals like Ajo Varghese have been posting desperate appeals for relief and rescue on social media.

According to India's weather bureau, since the beginning of June, more than 321cm of rain has fallen on the hilly central district of Idukki, which is now virtually cut off from the rest of the state.

Heavy rains over the past eight days triggered flooding, landslides and home and bridge collapses, severely disrupting air and train services in Kerala state, a popular tourist destination with scenic landscapes, waterfalls and attractive beaches.

► Over 2 lakh people in Thrissur district are in relief camps, he said.

An adviser to the state's chief minister put the initial loss estimate at $4 billion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected the flooded landscape from a helicopter and met Saturday with the state's top officials, promising more than $70 million in aid.

In this image from video, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks out from inside a helicopter during an aerial survey of flood affected areas in Kerala, southern India, on August 18, 2018.