UAE, Indian expats mobilize to help Kerala

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Her father Saji M George said those left stranded by the devastation are now in a "very hard situation". Relief material, including provisions, water and fuel have started arriving at the Kochi port from different parts of the country, official sources said.

"It was surreal. The water was close to the knees at one point and within a few minutes it was touching five feet with a current so strong that we saw big cars floating like tin cans", said Mumthaz, who has only one name. The Indian Prime Minister also said: "The Central Government is ensuring that the benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, various social security schemes, Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture reach those affected on a priority basis in Kerala".

He further said that as many as 1,500 army personnel were engaged in rescue operations and people stranded on rooftops and inaccessible areas were being winched with the help of defence helicopters.

"The death toll has risen to 373", an official of the state's disaster management authority told Reuters.

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Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas, reporting from a relief camp in Kayamkulam, said the huge number of people gathered in the shelters increased the risk of disease spreading.

Frayer reports that a red alert for flooding in the areas has been lifted and Kerala's chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the flooding "is under control". The camps accommodate people rescued from neighbouring areas, which were among the worst affected.

In another badly hit area, Thrissur, rescuers searched inundated houses where they found the bodies of those trapped by the fast-rising flood waters. The state agency will also be joined by expert technicians from agencies attached to the governments of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka.

As a helicopter hovered overhead, doctors checked elderly men and women lying on wooden benches in an engineering college.

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In a press release on Sunday, India's Meteorological Department said that while more rain is in the forecast, it is expected to decrease gradually throughout the week. The city's global airport has been ordered shut until Sunday.

"The major airport we all use, where all of us get our flights from, is now closed and it is closed until 26 August".

Kerala faces no shortage of food, at least.

The Hindu harvest festival, due to take place on Saturday, has been cancelled amid uncertainty over when this disaster will finally begin to ease.

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Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the opposition Congress party, urged Modi not to discriminate between states controlled by his Bharatiya Janata Party and those such as Kerala, which it does not rule. He added that the state had sought the immediate assistance of Rs 2,000 crore.

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