Friday, 14 August, 2020


Dubai ruler sets up committee to aid Kerala flood relief

Dubai ruler sets up committee to aid Kerala flood relief Dubai ruler sets up committee to aid Kerala flood relief
Bennie Garza | 19 August, 2018, 16:23

Kerala's respite from heavy rain is still at least a day away, the weather office predicted on Saturday as rescuers, including thousands of soldiers, in helicopters and boats fought through renewed torrential downpour through the day to reach stranded people still waiting for relief and rescue.

The Indian government has pledged $71m for victims of what state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan called "the worst floods in 100 years".

The floods began nine days ago and Vijayan said 164 people had been killed - some in landslides - with about 223,000 people forced into 1,568 relief camps.

Incessant rains since August 8 have caused the state's worst floods in a century, and at least 186 people have perished, many of them killed by landslides.

"Since May 29, when the monsoon starts in Kerala, a total of 357 people have lost their lives until now", a statement from the state's information officer said, with 33 losing their lives over the last 24 hours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on Saturday with the state's top officials, promising more than $70 million in aid.

Officials say many houses are irreparably damaged across the state and have warned residents against trying to return to them.

Congress legislator VD Sateeshan, who was spearheading the rescue operations in Paravur in Ernakulam district, said that he stood before a rescue boat team with folded hands and they obliged and rescued several people.

The president of the UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has expressed his condolences to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the loss and damage in the Kerala floods.

Earlier this week, the Andhra Pradesh government extended help to its Kerala counterpart, which is now tackling one of the worst floods in the history of the state.

At least 324 people have died and more than 200,000 are homeless, while the military has increase rescue and relief efforts.

"Please ask Modi to give us helicopters, give us helicopters".

Star India will donate Rs 2 Crores to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) of Kerala.

Mr Vijayan said initial storm damage estimates were almost $2.8bn.

This includes doctors and paramedics being sent to relief camps. He added, "At this time we must do everything possible to help the State administration in undertaking the hard task of flood relief and rehabilitating lives".

This was due to closure of the Kochi International airport till August 26 following flooding of the runway and airport areas in the heavy rains.

Mr Singh said the Red Cross is doing everything possible to help - providing clothes, food and support to those now living in camps - but that "there is a lot more that will have to be done in short and long-term".

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