The death toll in India's floods-hit southern state of Kerala has risen to 357, even as rescue and relief work is being carried out on a war footing. Banana and paddy crops spread over 850 acres of land have been destroyed, said unofficial estimates, Xinhua reported.
Nearly 250,000 people have been shifted to over 1500 relief camps set up across the state, and many more are being rescued from their submerged houses.
All the three wings of India's defence forces -- army, navy and air force, have been pressed into service to save lives in the devastated state witnessing worst ever floods in a century.
Directly suprervised by the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the rescue and relief work is being carried out by as many 67 helicopters, 24 aircraft, 548 motorboats, and thousands of personnel from the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard in the flood-affected areas.
While rescuing, priority is being given to those taken ill, the old, women and children.
Meanwhile, situation is slowly returning to normalcy even as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday night withdrew the red alert from as many as eight of the 13 districts affected by the deluge. Rains have been predicted on Sunday as well.
A meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) is held in New Delhi on a daily basis to take stock of the situation and review the rescue and relief operation depending on the requests from the state government.
Basic necessity items like food materials, medicines, clothes, etc., are being air dropped among the affected people with the help of choppers.
Financial and other aid have been committed by several sources. Several Indian states have announced financial assistance and other relief materials for the people in the state.
Prime Minister Modi had announced on Saturday an immediate financial assistance of five billion Indian Rupees (around 75 million U.S. dollars) for the floods-ravaged southern state of Kerala. This was in addition to 15 million U.S. dollars announced by the Center government earlier a few days ago.
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