India deploys military to save southern residents trapped by flood

India deploys military to save southern residents trapped by flood

Heavy rainfall was predicted for the day in all districts except Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kasaragod, said the chief minister.

"For the past five days people are without food in many places".

While more than 58,000 people were rescued in districts like Ernakulam, Chengannur, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur, there are still many more waiting to be rescued.

Entire villages in Kerala have been swept away in the state's worst floods in a century, and emergency responders fear the death toll will rise as they reach areas nearly entirely underwater.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveyed the state from the air on Saturday, and has promised a relief fund of 5bn Indian rupees (£55m; $71m).

A deluge in India's flood-stricken southwestern state of Kerala finally let up on Sunday, giving some respite for thousands of marooned families, while authorities feared an outbreak of disease among two million people crammed into relief camps.

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As Kerala grapples in a flood situation, the Meteorological Department has raised the hopes of the people by removing the Red alert from eight of the 11 districts.

"The floods in Kerala are a tragedy of truly epic proportions", said K Madhavan, Managing Director, Star South India business.

The rains have also disrupted transport networks in Kerala, a major destination for domestic and foreign tourists.

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. The rains are predicted to continue, and organized rescue efforts are the only way to save as many lives as possible. Not able to communicate from afternoon.

More than 300 people have died in Kerala since the monsoon started in June, including 170 since torrential rains began in August. "Please help", he added.

Mr Modi said 38 helicopters had been deployed for search and rescue operations in the state, which has a population of more than 33 million. The main Kochi global airport was closed from August 14 to August 26.

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

The gates of dozens of dams and reservoirs across the state have been opened as water levels reach risky levels, inundating many other villages.

Dozens of military and coastguard helicopters took troops to high-risk areas, where they searched for people trapped on the roofs of submerged buildings.

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

At least 324 people have been killed in rain and flood-related incidents, while 223,139 sheltered in 1,500 relief camps.

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