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J&K govt gives Kerala Rs 2 cr for flood relief

20 August 2018

Thousands of rescuers were continuing efforts to reach out to stranded people and get relief supplies to isolated areas by hundreds of boats and almost two dozen helicopters, said P.H. Kurian, a top disaster management official in Kerala.

The number of those displaced in the torrential rains has been put at 7.24 lakh by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also said most of the affected had been rescued and the government's focus would now be their rehabilitation.

From Odisha fire service personnel to buses from Karnataka's state transport corporations, to lawmakers and IAS officials donating salaries, there have been many heartening stories of people and organisations rallying to help.

The rain continued for three weeks, submerging most of the state, and washing away an entire mountain.

In some villages, floodwaters up to 3 meters (10 feet) high had entered homes.

Indian pedestrians and motorists wade through flooded streets in Kozhikode, about 385 km north of Trivandrum in the south Indian state of Kerala, on August 17, 2018.

"I got an update two days ago that nobody had come for her, my aunt and seven-month-old niece". Crops on 80,300 acres of land have also been damaged, the Home Ministry said. "We don't know", he said, as he helped distribute food in one relief center. But he said that by Wednesday, "we realized it's really big".

Mr Modi has also met senior state officials to discuss measures to deal with what they say is the state's worst flooding in a century.

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Describing the situation in Kerala as "the most devastating in a century", the UAE Prime Minister added, "The state of Kerala in India is now witnessing huge floods, the most devastating in a century".

Helicopters have been dropping emergency food and water supplies across Kerala, while special trains carrying drinking water and rice have been sent to the state. The Railways said it would provide blankets and bedsheets to the affected people in Kerala. The Kochi airport will remain closed till August 26.

In some relief, Kochi Naval airport will start operating commercial flights from Monday.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried out an aerial survey of the flooded villages and pledged five billion rupees. Although funds and relief material have been pouring in from other states, in addition to Rs.600 crore promised by the Central government, as well as from individuals and organisations across the world, the task of rebuilding the State will be a long and arduous one.

"Around 100 people died in the last 36 hours alone", an official in the Kerala government's public relations department told AFP.

More than 350 people have been killed, majority in landslides, since the monsoon started in June.

In Kerala, the 1924 flood is usually referred to as the "flood of 99", as it was the year 1099 in the Malayalam Calendar.

J&K govt gives Kerala Rs 2 cr for flood relief