Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

India flood death toll jumps to 357

India flood death toll jumps to 357

At least 324 people have been killed in flooding in the southern Indian state of Kerala in what local officials say is the worst flooding in 100 years.

Modi, who arrived in the state capital on Friday night, reached Kochi accompanied by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekheran and other top state officials.

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 handsome beaches. At least 164 people have died in the flood since August 8 - taking the number of deaths to over 300 this monsoon.

Earlier on Saturday morning, CM Vijayan told Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a review meeting in Kochi that the death toll since May 29 had climbed to 357 and over 3.53 lakh affected persons had been lodged in over 2,000 relief camps.

India's air force and navy helicopters are airlifting stranded people from rooftops, and dropping food supplies to those they can not yet reach.

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.

The state chief minister has requested extra funding as well as 20 more helicopters and 600 motorised boats in order to step up the rescue efforts.

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Kerala Reds, the official supporters group of Liverpool from the region, put up a post on social media inviting people to donate to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) and it came to the notice of the club's CEO himself. Some 350,000 people have been left homeless and taken shelter in relief camps. She said the floods had destroyed 26,000 homes and damaged crops across as much as 40,000 hectares, with estimated losses of 277 billion rupees.

Anil Vasudevan, who handles disaster management at the Kerala health department, said authorities had isolated three people with chickenpox in one of the relief camps in Aluva town, almost 250 km (155 miles) from state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Meteorologists expect the rains to ease up over the next few days.

Rescue operations are in full swing in flood-affected Kerala.

One of the HSI rescuers reporting from a relief camp shared that around 80 percent of the animals in one of the flooded districts did not survive. Hundreds of people are still stranded in Chalakuddy near Thrissur without food and water. Officials estimate that more than 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of roads have been damaged, and one of the state's major airports, in the city of Kochi, has been closed.

Reports said electricity supplies to more than half the state have been cut.

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