Death Toll Surpasses 350 in India's Kerala Flooding

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Hundreds of Indian troops stepped up efforts to rescue thousands of people stranded in the deluge.

"Our prime concern was to save lives.

With power and communication lines down, thousands remained trapped in towns and villages cut off by the floods amid growing shortages of food and water.

In Thrissur, one of the worst-hit districts, rescuers sifting through inundated houses have discovered the bodies of those unable to escape as the floodwaters quickly rose. Hence the loss caused is so huge.

"We are witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala", Pinarayi Vijayan, the Kerala chief minister, said on Friday, according to The Guardian. 10 districts are on orange alert, while the yellow alert is issued for two districts.

The worst affected places include Aluva, Chalakudy, Chengannur, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta, where massive rescue operations were on as scores of persons were rescued by rescue teams.

Additional rescue teams, helicopters and motorboats have been deployed to tackle the devastating flood.

The death toll stands at 357, local officials said, with 33 killed in just the last 24 hours. On Sunday, August 19, between 9am and 1pm, the gates of Al Nahdha Garden will be opened to receive donations in the form of clothes. Since August 8th, 195 people have lost their lives and maximum number of deaths were reported from Idukki, where 43 people lost their lives. He said, rehabilitation will be done by various agencies. "Rescuing those who are trapped remains the topmost priority", he said. He wrote, "Prayers are always good but in times of dire need and suffering we all can do more". One train arrived on Sunday.

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However, on Sunday, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation announced that it will resume its services to various towns and cities in Kerala from Sunday evening.

But it is not as if all was going on smoothly.

More than 30 military helicopters and 320 boats are attempting rescues across Kerala after some areas were engulfed by overflowing rivers, with residents seen swimming and wading through chest-high waters past partially submerged houses. Indian Social Club, Sohar, in association with a few NGOs is putting in place a mechanism to collect new clothes to be sent to the affected areas. "Since hygiene is key to preventing contagious diseases, six health inspectors will be posted at each panchayat".

And with the water level coming down, it might not be possible to operate the big boats, forcing rescuers to rely on small or rubber boats.

Onions, potatoes and cabbage were sold at Rs 90 per kg.

The party, he said, discussed the Rafale deal in detail and claimed that the scam has cost the exchequer Rs 41,000 crore.

Some people who reached their homes in central Kerala were stunned after seeing mud and dirt accumulated on furniture, with practically all their possessions destroyed. He said Rs 10 million of the Rs 50 million will go directly to the Kerala Chief Minister's Relief Fund, while the rest will be allocated for medical relief aid, the Gulf paper added. "The Prime Minister should declare this crisis as a national disaster".

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