NEWS
20/08/2018 10:35 AM IST | Updated 20/08/2018 10:38 AM IST

Kerala Floods: Relief Challenge Ahead As Rain Abates

210 people have lost their lives since 8 August.

Sivaram V / Reuters
An aerial view shows partially submerged buildings at a flooded area in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 19, 2018. REUTERS/Sivaram V

Flood-hit Kerala received some respite on Sunday as heavy rains finally let up but, with at least laks of people in relief camps, the state now faces the challenge of providing supplies and beginning the process of rebuilding infrastructure.

PTI reported that 210 people have lost their lives since 8 August as Kerala reels under the impact of the worst floods it has faced in almost a century.

While chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that 7.24 lakh people have been shifted to relief camps, Malayala Manorama reported on Monday that the figure is likely to be much higher.

The state is also preparing to deal with possible outbreaks of epidemics in the camps.

A bulletin from India Meteorological Department, Thiruvananthapuram, said on Sunday that rainfall activity over Kerala "is likely to decrease further gradually" this week.

The crisis in Kerala, known for its strong diaspora, has received international attention. Pope Francis has called for the international community to provide "concrete support" to the state. Rulers of Gulf countries, where many Malayalis work, have also pledged assistance.

Thousands of Malayalis, both inside and outside the state, have been working on rescue and relief missions with authorities.

Fishing workers, no strangers to the unpredictability of nature themselves, have received particular praise for their role in the rescue efforts. The Indian Expressreported that over 1,400 fishermen from coastal villages of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Ernakulam have ventured into the most remote corners of the affected areas with their boats. Vijayan has said that the government will honour these fishing workers and bear the repair costs for boats. They will also be granted Rs3,000 per boat for each day of the rescue work.

Visit https://keralarescue.in/ to find out how you can help the state. You can also donate to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund here.