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Relief Teams in Kerala, India Rescue Over 22,000 As Flood Rains Slow

Relief Teams in Kerala, India Rescue Over 22,000 As Flood Rains Slow

On Sunday, a little over 22,000 people were rescued from flooding in Kerala after monsoon rains finally slowed down.

Military teams and disaster response reached some of the worst flooded areas, and helicopters brought necessary supplies to communities that were cut off for two weeks due to nonstop rainfall.

Since June, over 370 people have been killed due to landslides stemming from the monsoons.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told BBC that there were up to 725,000 people taking up residence in 5,645 relief camps. He vowed on Sunday “to save even the last person stranded.”

Kerala relief commissioner PH Kurian said authorities rescued over 200,000 people, and hope to rescue those still stranded by the end of the day today. He said families may be displaced and unable to return to their homes for up to a full year.

Survivors at the evacuation centers and relief camps described going days without food and water. As the rain started to slow, evacuees started to navigate back to their homes to see what was left.

“Big snakes are hiding in our home. I don’t know how I can take my children back,” said Joseph, a 40-year-old evacuee. “They had such fond memories of our house but now they are scared.”

Many are forced to remain in relief camps because they can’t afford to repair their homes.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the area on Saturday and promised a grant of 5bn Indian rupees, which equates to about $71 million.

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