Kerala floods: Red alert withdrawn for all districts, rains likely to continue

Kerala floods: Red alert withdrawn for all districts, rains likely to continue

Kerala floods: Red alert withdrawn for all districts, rains likely to continue

Thousands of stranded people were waiting for rescue Saturday and officials pleaded for more help as relentless monsoon floods battered the south Indian state of Kerala, where more than 190 have died in a little over a week and much of the state is partially submerged.

India's national carrier Air India will operate ATR flights from the naval airport in Kochi to Bangalore and Coimbatore, starting Monday.

The Indian armed forces have reported that 23,213 people have been rescued in recent days and 2,000 have been provided with medical aid.

Rescue teams were focused on the town of Chengannur on the banks of the Pamba River, where some 5,000 people are feared to be trapped, officials told Reuters.

A group of stranded fishermen who came to help with the rescue work in Alapuzzha from the state capital said they had rescued several people "but now there is no one to help us return to where we came from with our boats". Contribution in the form of cash can be sent to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. Please help me, people in my place will die.

While rain slowed down in some parts on Saturday, the situation on the ground continues to be bad due to the shortage of food, drinking water, medicines and fuel.

Incessant rains since August 8 have caused the state's worst floods in a century, and at least 186 people have perished, many of them killed by landslides.

A release from the Chief Minister's Office said Naidu expressed grief over loss of lives and destruction of property in the monsoon fury.

The precise extent of the damage will remain unclear until waters subside, but Vijayan said at least 83,000km (51,570 miles) of roads would need to be repaired.

Vijayan, the chief minister, has requested extra funding as well as 20 more helicopters and 600 motorised boats to step up the rescue efforts. He directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), NTPC, and PGCIL to cater to the basic infrastructure needs of the people in the wake of the floods.

Taking to his Twitter handle De Villiers wrote, "My thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by the awful floods in Kerala".

Flaying the state for "failing in the endeavour", Leader of Opposition Chennithala said, "I have been flooded with calls from the affected persons".

However, a landslide near Nelliyampathy in Palakkad district has left around 1,000 people cut off from the mainland and the Army is working to clear the debris. A special train will be back on the Kottayam sector on Sunday, after all services on this route were suspended for the past two days.

The floods have caused an estimated $3 billion in damage but the bill is likely to rise as the scale of devastation becomes clearer.

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