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Deadly Floods Trap Thousands

Over 190 people have died in the Indian state of Kerala
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 18, 2018 11:00 AM CDT
A truck carries people past a flooded road in Thrissur, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Thousands of stranded people were waiting for rescue Saturday and officials pleaded for more help as relentless monsoon floods battered the south Indian state of Kerala, where more than 190 have died in a little over a week and much of the state is partially submerged, the AP reports. Heavy rains began hitting parts of the state again Saturday morning, slowing attempts to deploy rescuers and get relief supplies to isolated areas, many of which have seen no help for days and can only be reached by boat or helicopter. More than 300,000 people have taken shelter in over 1,500 state-run relief camps, officials say. But authorities and local media outlets say they are being inundated with calls for assistance.

"We are receiving multiple repetitive rescue requests," the office of the state's top official, Pinarayi Vijayan, says in a Friday tweet, asking those in need to provide their exact location and nearby landmarks so rescuers can find them. He later tweeted an update on the Kerala town of Chengannur, saying four helicopters, five military boats, and 65 fishing boats have put the rescue "on a war-footing basis." Officials have called it the worst flooding in Kerala in a century, with rainfall in some areas well over double of a typical monsoon season. Heavy rains since Aug. 8 have triggered floods and landslides and caused homes and bridges to collapse across Kerala, a picturesque state known for its quiet tropical backwaters and beautiful beaches.

(Read more India stories.)

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