India monsoon floods 'kill 164' in Kerala

Mon, September 24, 2018
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India monsoon floods 'kill 164' in Kerala
Published : 17 Aug 2018, 15:33:11
India monsoon floods 'kill 164' in Kerala
bbarta desk
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At least 164 people have died in devastating monsoon floods in India's southern state of Kerala, the worst in almost a century.
 
Rescuers battled torrential rains to save residents, with nearly 223,000 left homeless.
 
The state government said many of those who died were crushed under debris caused by landslides.
 
With more rains predicted and a red alert in place, the main airport has reportedly been shut until 26 August.
 
The state's chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, confirmed on Friday that the death toll had reached 164.
 
Hundreds of troops have been deployed to rescue those caught up in the flooding, alongside helicopters and lifeboats.
 
The government has urged people not to ignore evacuation orders. It is distributing food to tens of thousands who have fled to higher ground.
 
"We're witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters.
 
"Almost all dams are now opened. Most of our water treatment plants are submerged. Motors are damaged."
 
He added that the failure of the state government of neighbouring Tamil Nadu to release water from a dam had made the situation worse.
 
Kerala has 41 rivers flowing into the Arabian Sea.
 
Parts of Kerala's commercial capital, Kochi, are also underwater, snaring up roads and railways across the state - a popular tourist destination.
 
India's Prime Minister and Home Minister have both offered federal support.
 
Schools in all 14 districts of Kerala have been closed and some districts have banned tourists citing safety concerns.-BBC
 
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