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Flooding in India
Army rescuers help a survivor out of a boatImage: Reuters/Sivaram V

India launches evacuation of flooded south

August 17, 2018

People in the Indian state of Kerala waited on the rooftops for rescue teams as the government scrambled helicopters and navy boats. The catastrophe has claimed hundreds of lives.


Deadly flooding in India

At least 324 people have died due to flooding and landslides in India's southern state of Keralasince the monsoon season started about three months ago, officials said on Friday. While Kerala is regularly pounded by monsoons, this year's flooding, exacerbated by flash landslides, is the worst in nearly a century.

The state faces an "extremely grave" crisis, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Despite the torrential rain stopping on Friday, more downpours are expected in the coming days. At least one irrigation dam burst, causing a deadly landslide since the flooding started last week. Another 80 reached danger levels, according to Vijayan.

Read more: Poor preparedness caused flood disaster in India

Authorities deployed helicopters and navy boats as residents gathered on the rooftops or higher ground areas. The army, navy and coastguards were involved with the evacuation. At least 6,500 remained stranded as of Thursday evening.

Over 200,000 people have sought shelter in one of the 1,500 camps across the state.

Dog saves family

On Monday, Indian media reported that a family was saved by its dog. The dog apparently started barking in the middle of the night, waking the household and prompting them to leave the house minutes before it was destroyed by a landslide.

"I went out to see and we had to just rush out of the house," Mohanan P. told Indian news network NDTV.

The entire family, including the dog, is now safe in one of the relief camps.

Heavy flooding brings destruction to southern India: Sonia Phalnikar from Delhi

dj/kms (AFP, AP)

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