Flooding in southern Indian state kills more than 350, displaces 800,000

Kerala flood map Kerala is in southwestern India

Kerala flood map Kerala is in southwestern India

Volunteers in a boat help to rescue stranded people from a flooded area in Chengannur in the southern state of Kerala, India, on Sunday. According to Times of India reports around 6,61,887 people are staying in 3,466 relief camps across the state.

Thousands of army, air force and navy troops, along with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), are undertaking the search and rescue operations. They work in every strata of the labor force, from taxi drivers to accountants, and run some of the country's most successful enterprises. Additional motorboats have also been put on standby for deployment, according to an official statement. Dozens of helicopters have been dropping tonnes of food, medicine and water over areas cut off due to damaged roads and bridges.

The railways have been running trains to Thiruvananthapuram via Erode and Madurai. Vijayan said the next task would be to help people get back to normal life.

In addition to having an impact on weather patterns through the "thermodynamic" effect of a warmer atmosphere, climate change also has "dynamic" effects involving changes in atmospheric circulation.

Meanwhile, shipments of various relief materials have reached the state.

The government has also chose to make the Naval airstrip at Kochi functional for commercial flights by 20 August.

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The state's main airport in Kochi remains flooded, so an airstrip at the city's naval base is expected to open for commercial flights from Wednesday, to allow the delivery of more aid. Tata Motors offers cost-free towing assistance to all affected Cars and Utility Vehicles belonging to the brand and the customers are informed via SMS on vehicle precautions in this dire situation. "We all pray for the safety and well being of the people of Kerala".

"It was surreal. The water was close to the knees at one point and within a few minutes it was touching five feet with a current so strong that we saw big cars floating like tin cans", said Mumthaz, who has only one name. Along with this PM's National Relief fund will provide an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the disaster and another Rs 50,000 for those who are seriously injured.

Late on Saturday, the chief minister had said that there was no shortage of food in the state as traders had stocked up before a local festival.

The India Meteorological Department forecast heavy rainfall in only one or two parts of Kerala on Sunday and withdrew a red alert in several districts.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has thanked his Telangana counterpart K. Chandrasekhar Rao and expressed gratitude on behalf of people of his State for extending ₹25 crore for relief and rehabilitation measures in flood-affected areas.

Jyotika Sood contributed to the story.

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