The worst floods in nearly a century in Kerala have killed hundreds, and thousands of people are still trapped
CNN: Monsoon rains and heavy flooding have killed hundreds of people and forced more than 300,000 others to seek shelter in the Indian state of Kerala, officials said.
Torrential rains in Kerala have triggered the state’s worst flooding in nearly a century, destroying thousands of homes and roads. At least 324 people have been killed since the start of the monsoon season in late May but the death toll began rising considerably over the past week.
Flash floods and landslides have killed 164 people in the past 10 days but half of those deaths were reported in the past three days, State Relief Commissioner P.H. Kurian had told CNN. Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala’s chief minister, tweeted on Friday that 314,391 people were staying in relief camps across the state. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveyed the flooding damage. Images showed the prime minister at a meeting with local officials and flying over the flooded areas. “My thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their lives due to incessant flooding across Kerala. I hope the injured recover at the earliest,” he tweeted. “We all pray for the safety and well being of the people of Kerala.”
Following the meeting, Minister Vijayan said an initial assessment indicated the floods caused an estimated $2.7 billion in damages.
In a statement, Prime Minister Modi announced the government has approved $71.6 million in assistance along with other relief such as food and medicines. The international airport in the city of Kochi, one of India’s busiest airports, will remain closed until August 26, airport officials said in a statement.
Several areas of the airport, including the runway and taxiway remain submerged in water.
A heavily pregnant woman was rescued on Friday by helicopter from the rooftop of her flooded home in Aluva, one of the worst-hit areas, according to Indian Navy spokesman DK Sharma.
Sajitha Jabil, 25, whose water already had broken when she was airlifted to safety, delivered a baby boy in the hospital two hours later, Sharma told CNN.