UAE businessman KP Hussain donates 2.6 million dirhams for Kerala flood relief

Rescuers plead for help as thousands stranded in flooded Kerala

Thousands of stranded people are waiting for rescue as relentless monsoon floods continue to batter the south Indian state of Kerala, where more than 200 people have died in a little over a week.

Modi said 38 helicopters had been deployed for search and rescue operations in the state, which has a population of more than 33 million. Rescuers fear the death toll will rise as they reach areas nearly entirely underwater.

Rescue teams said they were prioritizing the elderly, infants and the sick for airlift to safer places, while airdropping food and water to those left behind.

The state's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan vowed on Sunday "to save even the last person stranded".

According to Dr KP Hussain, chairman of Fathima Healthcare Group, Rs10 million of this amount will directly go to the Kerala chief minister's relief fund, while the rest will be allocated for medical relief aid.

Some say they are trapped inside temples and hospitals as well as submerged homes.

Anil Vasudevan, who handles disaster management at the Kerala health department, said authorities had isolated three people with chickenpox in one of the relief camps in Aluva town, almost 250 km (155 miles) from state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

An flooded area in Kerala.

With no end in sight to the rains, people all over the state of 33 million have made panic-stricken appeals on social media for help, saying they can not make contact with rescue services.

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Other residents say they are anxious that the batteries on their mobile phones are running out.

"There are seven families in this apartment now". In another tweet, he said, "flight operations between Bangalore and Cochin Naval airbase will be starting from 20th August morning".

"This is my second phone and to save power I have been turning data on and off intermittently". Modi also pledged more than $70 million in aid as the Kerala tries to recover. Authorities are now concerned about possible outbreaks of waterborne and airborne diseases there.

Surjewala said the party also demanded that Kerala floods be declared as a "national calamity" and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to play politics in such matters.

Further landslides and dangerously high water levels in dams and reservoirs were expected to push the number of deaths upwards, with rain and strong winds predicted for many parts of the state throughout the weekend.

Yesterday, the United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum came out in support for Kerala and ordered the formation of an emergency committee to provide relief to the victims hit by devastating rains and floods. This includes doctors and paramedics being sent to relief camps. Rescue teams, including military personnel, have stepped up efforts to evacuate thousands of people trapped by the waters.

There is a severe drinking water shortage in the relief camps, a lack of medicines, and getting food to the camps is a big problem given transportation has been severely affected.

Heavy rains began earlier this month and have caused landslides, the destruction of property and the collapse of bridges and infrastructure. The season runs from June to September.

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