Thousands without food, water in Kerala; toll hits 370

Rescue operations being carried out at flood-affected regions in Kochi on Saturday

Around 380 people have been killed since the monsoon season began in Kerala in May with the second more devastating spell of flooding from August 8 claiming 220 lives. "Onam is not on our minds now", she said fighting back tears.

Uday Shankar, President 21st Century Fox - Asia, and Chairman and CEO - Star India, said, "Our hearts go out to those affected by this tremendous natural disaster". BMW has deployed special task force with certified technicians and service advisors to various service points across Kerala and has prioritised ordering all necessary spare parts.

Even as the state got respite from the rain, fears rose over disease in rescue camps.

Pinarayi Vijayan said that on August 17, over 82,000 people had been rescued and on Monday, this had come down to just over 600. The state government has also made a decision to distribute cleaning kits to them, Vijayan added.

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Those returning home from the camps as the waters recede face a hard clean-up. The flood situation in South Kerala continues to be bad, while things are getting better in North Kerala.

The Indian government classified the floods as a "calamity of severe nature". National carrier Air India on Monday began flying turboprop planes from the city's naval airport to the cities of Bangalore and Coimbatore in neighbouring states. At Chengannur in Alapuzha district, at least 5,000 are stranded, according to revenue officials quoted by PTI.

An all-party meet called by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan is now underway to discuss the rehabilitation of people languishing in the relief camps.

Rainfall in the state during the June-September monsoon season has been more than 40 percent higher than normal, with torrential rains since August 8 forcing authorities to release water from dozens of dangerously full dams, sending surges into rivers that then overflowed their banks.

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The state faces a big task of rehabilitating over 7 lakh people who were displaced by the floods that killed more than 400 people. Many non-governmental organisations have sent their volunteers to the state to help in rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

The chief minister had earlier said the state had suffered damages of about Rs 20,000 crore.

About 1.08 million people were in 3,646 relief camps on Monday, up from 850,000 on Sunday. 1,500 army personnel were engaged in rescue operations and people stranded on rooftops and inaccesible areas were being winched with the help of defence helicopters.

Routes and traffic in the worst-hit areas, including Aluva-Thrissur, Thrissur-Shoranur, Kayamkulam-Kottayam- Ernakulam Shoranur-Tirur, Shoranur- Palakkad have been fixed.

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