Kerala floods: 35 people rescued from landslide hit Nelliyampathy

Kerala floods: 35 people rescued from landslide hit Nelliyampathy

Rain abates, red alert lifted In a big relief, there was respite from the rains in most parts of the state on Sunday after almost two weeks of virtually non-stop downpour with the red alert being lifted in several districts.

Thousands of stranded people were waiting to be rescued on Saturday and officials pleaded for more help as relentless monsoon floods battered the southern Indian state of Kerala, where more than 190 have died in a little over a week and much of the state is partially submerged.

Rescuers have struggled to reach many areas because flooded lanes are often too narrow for boats.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel from Mangalagiri also left for Kerala by a special aircraft, State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner M V Seshagiri Babu said.

"They were the scariest hours of our life", 20-year-old Inderjeet Kumar told AFP at a church doubling as a relief shelter in the hard-hit Thrissur district. But authorities said they were being inundated with calls for assistance, local media reported.

"The entire house is covered with mud".

The number of those displaced in the torrential rains was today put at 7.24 lakh by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who said most of the affected had been rescued and the government's focus would now be their rehabilitation. More than 100 dead and 200,000 left homeless. awful!

"Stop punishing flood ravaged Kerala", Surjewala said.

Food, medicine and water has been dropped from helicopters to isolated areas.

With heavy rains continuing to wreak havoc in Kerala, India Inc has extended relief measures to the victims by offering donations.

Red alert has also been withdrawn from all the areas due to rains reducing over these areas.

At St Peter's Square in the Vatican on Sunday, worshippers held aloft signs reading "Pray for Kerala", a state with a large Christian population. He called for solidarity and "the concrete assistance of the worldwide community".

In Mala, desperate villagers had to improvise as the floodwaters rose, using kitchen pots as rafts to reach their stricken neighbours.

In the hilly district of Idukki, rescuers told the Press Trust of India of working through the night to save a newborn boy and his mother from the rising waters.

The rains from the '99 disaster remain the highest ever recorded in the country and most parts of Kerala were under water.

In good news, the rainfall intensity over Kerala has decreased over the past two days, the meteorology department said today, adding there is no alert of heavy precipitation for the next four days in the state.

Idukki has received more than 321 centimetres (126 inches) of rain since June and is now virtually cut off from the rest of the state. Over 3.53 lakh people are in 3,026 relief camps across the state after the rains savaged Kerala.

Officials have put initial storm damage estimates at almost $3 billion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected the flooded landscape from a helicopter on Saturday and met with the state's top officials, promising more than $70 million USA in aid.

However, the chief minister announced that the state government will provide free fuel and Rs 3000 per day to fishermen involved in rescue work, lauding their "selfless contribution to the relief effort".

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