Floods kill 164, dis­place many in In­dia

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - GOPAKUMAR WAR­RIER AND SANKALP PHARTIYAL

BEN­GALURU/MUM­BAI: The worst floods in a cen­tury in the In­dian state of Ker­ala killed 164 peo­ple and forced more than 200 000 into re­lief camps, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day, with more mis­ery ex­pected as heavy rain pushed wa­ter lev­els higher.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi was due to visit the south west state later yes­ter­day as its chief min­is­ter said he was hop­ing the mil­i­tary could step up help for the res­cue ef­fort which was al­ready us­ing dozens of he­li­copters and hun­dreds of boats.

“I spoke to the de­fence min­is­ter and asked for more he­li­copters,” Chief Min­is­ter Pi­narayi Vi­jayan said in the state cap­i­tal, Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram, ad­ding that he planned to send 11 more he­li­copters to worst-hit places.

“In some ar­eas, air­lift­ing is the only op­tion… thou­sands are still ma­rooned.”

The floods be­gan nine days ago and Vi­jayan said 164 peo­ple had been killed – some in land­slides – with about 223 000 peo­ple forced into 1 568 re­lief camps.

Ker­ala is a ma­jor desti­na­tion for both do­mes­tic and for­eign tourists.

The air­port in the main com­mer­cial city of Kochi has been flooded and oper­a­tions sus­pended un­til Au­gust 26 with flights be­ing di­verted to two other air­ports in the state.

The of­fice of the chief min­is­ter said heavy rain was fall­ing in some places yes­ter­day. More show­ers are ex­pected over this week­end.

Modi said he would travel to Ker­ala “to take stock of the un­for­tu­nate sit­u­a­tion”. – Reuters/African News Agency

PIC­TURE: AJIT SOLANKI/AP/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY

An woman and a child wade through a flooded road af­ter heavy rain in Ah­mad­abad, In­dia, yes­ter­day.

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