Helicopters have been battling torrential rains to reach stranded victims

Indian health authorities prepared defenses against the spread of disease in flood-hit Kerala state on Monday as water receded and a huge clean-up gathered pace after the worst floods in a century killed more than 200 people.

Thousands of army, navy and air force personnel have been deployed across the state to help people stranded in remote and hilly areas.

A state government spokesman said that 1,028,000 people were now recorded in about 3,200 relief camps across the state.

Authorities have confirmed that 357 people have died since the beginning of the monsoon season - a report in the Economic Times put the death toll at 370.


Incessant downpours since August 8 have caused the worst floods in a century in the southwestern state, and close to 200 people have perished in the rising waters and landslides.

There are around 725,000 people taking refuge in relief camps. "We're safe compared to many others, but we're cut off", said James Joseph Moolakkaat, owner of an agricultural business who lives in a 10-story building across the southwestern state's Periyar river.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also wrote a letter to Chandrashekhar Rao thanking the latter for all the support and help extended by Telangana so far to Kerala following the devastating floods.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there was no shortage of food in the state as traders had stocked up ahead of Onam, the state's biggest festival which falls on August 25.


With flood water level receding in many places, people have started returning to their homes and begun cleaning operations.

Reporting from Mumbai, NPR's Lauren Frayer says that, "tens of thousands of people have been rescued from flooded homes. but many more are stranded". Rescue workers have yet to reach many flooded areas, some too narrow for boats to navigate. Referring to some messages being circulated on social media denigrating the relief efforts by the government, he said that anyone trying to "pull us down will face serious consequences". One of the state's major airports, in the city of Kochi, was closed this past Tuesday due to the flooding.

Hundreds of troops have led a desperate operation to rescue families trapped by rising floods.

Kerala has been battered with the worst floods in decades over the last couple of weeks, as the South West Monsoon intensified brimming the dams including one of the highest Arch dams in Asia at Idukki.


"People don't have food or clean water, they don't have fuel to cook".

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