Kerala: UAE offers Rs 700 crore for relief fund

Kerala: UAE offers Rs 700 crore for relief fund

Kerala: UAE offers Rs 700 crore for relief fund

As floodwaters continue to recede in parts of Kerala, the state now faces a very big task of reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure and rehabilitation lakhs of people rendered homeless.

Over 1 million people were evacuated over the past week and are living in relief camps opened across the state. People have started returning home from relief centres with flood waters receding.Many were shocked to see the state of their homes covered with mud and slush as the water receded.

Almost 725,000 people have taken shelter in relief camps, state government spokesman Subhash T.V. said on Sunday.

The amount is more than the $97 million so far promised by the centre. The state government has also made a decision to distribute cleaning kits to them, Vijayan added.

UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted about the floods in Kerala, urging his countrymen to provide assistance in every possible way. The PMO stated that Modi's fresh announcement of Rs 500 Crore grant is in addition to the Rs 100 Crore that was announced by Union Government earlier on Aug 12.

Now the focus is on rehabilitation as Armed Forces, NDRF and other authorities continue to conduct rescue operations on a war footing.

With hundreds of thousands of people converging in halls and auditoriums of schools, temples, churches, and mosques with little or no toilet facilities, people from less affected areas moved in to help those badly in need.

Flood victims rest inside a university classroom, which is converted into a temporary relief camp in Kochi.

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In addition, the flooding has led to authorities temporarily closing Kochi Airport until the 18th of this month. The prime minister has taken a "positive stand" towards the state on relief measures, Vijayan told reporters.

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Rescue teams in Chengannur on Tuesday finally reached the house of retired army officer K.G. Pillai, who said up to 2.4 metres (eight feet) of water had engulfed the house where his family had lived since 1952.

Mr. Vijaram has also warned against the spread of "fake news" leading people to panic over unconfirmed reports such as rumors of a looming fuel shortage that caused gridlock at petrol stations and speculation that the giant Mullaperiyar dam might burst. Several photographs and videos of the rescue operations have been widely shared on social media and some of them are even going viral.

"They were the scariest hours of our life", 20-year-old Inderjeet Kumar said at a church doubling as a relief shelter in the hard-hit Thrissur district. "I was strong but broke when I heard my daughter was crying for milk and water at the time", she added. Many are in schools, but at least one is on the grounds of a mosque where Christians, Hindus and Muslims have all found food and a place to sleep.

Army personnel carrying satellite phones have fanned out to hard to negotiate areas in search of stranded people, he said.

"Some relief camps are now isolated after roads were blocked by landslides", Father Punamadathil told August 20, adding that it was hard to deliver food and water to those in the camps. One such region is Ala, a village in Chenganoor taluka of Alappuzha district which is still water-logged.

"People are going home, or to their relatives homes", said K.H. Shahabas, a local elected official who has been working in the camp since it was created.

Kerala lawmaker Shashi Tharoor estimated that 50,000 houses had been destroyed.

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