Floods in Kerala, India leave 324 dead during 'worst monsoon in century'

Rescuers plead for help as thousands stranded in flooded Kerala

Thousands await rescue amid deadly south Indian floods

A state official told AFP that apart from the new rainfall warnings, a breakdown of the local communication system was making it hard for them to reach local people who may be in urgent need in the worst-affected areas.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel from Mangalagiri also left for Kerala by a special aircraft, State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner M V Seshagiri Babu said.

Commercial flight operations from Kochi, hit following the closure of its global airport due to flooding, would resume tomorrow from the Naval airport to Coimbatore and Bengaluru, bringing some relief to travellers.

He said weather conditions had improved considerably and he expected the almost 10,000 people still stranded to be rescued by Monday.

Rescuers fear the death toll will continue to rise as they reach villages entirely under water.

With no end to the deluge in sight, people all over the state of 33 million have made appeals on social media for help, saying they can not make contact with rescue services. Videos posted online showed residents, in some cases, breaking into shops to take food.

"There are seven families in this apartment now".

"We are working really hard to get an appointment with the PM's office", he said. "I have to save my mother", he said.

Modi declared initial assistance of 5 billion rupees ($71 million) and promised more later.

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Vijayan said he has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will reach Kerala in the evening.

Kerala, which usually receives high rainfall, has seen over 250 percent more rain than normal between August 8 and August 15, causing the state authorities to release water from 35 dangerously full dams, sending a surge into its main river.

Indian volunteers from the Haridwar Mitra Mandal Charitable Trust load water aid to be shipped to flood-hit Kerala, in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Over four lakh people are housed in 3026 relief camps across the state.

His body was retrieved by comrades early Sunday, said Dibin K.S, a Kerala firefighter, in a grim reminder of the perils facing rescuers.

"Lot of people are still marooned", said P. H. Kurian, relief commissioner of Kerala, said by phone, adding thousands were rescued on Saturday. "NHAI and PWD have agreed to fix do immediate fix of the damaged roads", Vijayan said.

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.

Amid massive floods in Kerala, a red alert has been issued for three districts- Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Ernakulam of the southern state for Sunday. Landslides have also contributed to the death toll. The season runs from June to September.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, where many Keralites work, said he had formed a committee to extend emergency assistance to the flood victims of the state, whose people he said "have always been and are still part of our success story".

Authorities warned of more torrential rain and strong winds over the weekend, as hundreds of troops and local fishermen staged desperate rescue attempts in helicopters and boats across the southern state.

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