News ID: 220064
Published: 1010 GMT August 18, 2018

More than 320 dead in India flood crisis

More than 320 dead in India flood crisis

Pressure intensified Saturday to save thousands still trapped by devastating floods that have killed more than 320 in the Indian state of Kerala, triggering landslides and sending torrents sweeping through villages in the region's worst inundation crisis in a century.

Authorities warned of more torrential rain and strong winds over the weekend, as hundreds of troops and local fishermen staged desperate rescue attempts in helicopters and boats across the southern state.

The state is "facing the worst floods in 100 years", Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Twitter, adding that at least 324 lives have been lost so far.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was taken by helicopter over inundated farmland and villages, promised more helicopters, boats and other equipment needed to expand the rescue operation in the still unfolding emergency.

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.

Modi declared initial assistance of 5 billion rupees ($71 million) and promised more later. He also assured that the federal government would send desperately needed grains, as storage in the state had been flooded and stocks destroyed.

At least 310,000 people have been displaced and are taking shelter in more than 2,000 relief camps.

AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.





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