HIGHLIGHTS: Centre declares Kerala floods 'calamity of severe nature'

Kerala floods Worst rains in a century kills over 300 displaces 3 lakh entire state on alert for more showers

Around 3,500 people marooned in various parts of Kodagu have been rescued so far even as airlifting was not possible in many places due to relentless rain and fog which reduced visibility for helicopters. "Now everything is being managed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)", said Manoj Jhalani, additional secretary with the union health ministry.

TRT World's Craig Vermay reports.

More than 400 people have died since the monsoon started in May.

Torrential rain over the past ten days forced officials to release water from dozens of dangerously full dams to prevent them bursting.

"When the flood waters came, we were not anticipating a calamity of this kind", he said.

The Emirati government last week formed a national emergency committee to coordinate relief efforts for Kerala. P.H. Kurian, a top disaster management official in Kerala, told the AP he expects nearly all of them to be rescued by Monday.

While Kerala state government has asked the Centre to grant Rs 2000 Crore for immediate measures, Modi has announced only Rs 500 Crore. Amid ongoing rescue and relief operations, cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha on Saturday reviewed the situation in the flood-affected areas in Kerala.

"We got out half an hour before the big flood".

Mahesh oversees four relief camps in his village, which itself escaped flood damage.

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Rescuers, assisted by the Indian military, are still searching flooded areas for people trapped in trees and on rooftops.

Meanwhile, the situation in Kerala is improving and the rescue operations are nearly complete, with efforts now moving towards relief and rehabilitation, a senior Navy officer said today.

"The flood has bonded the people like never before, sharing whatever they had". The Union government is coordinating well with the state to provide the best care to them.

"Keeping in view the intensity and magnitude of the floods in Kerala, the government has declared this a calamity of a "severe nature", Naidu said.

"People are being screened for respiratory infections", said a camp doctor, Rajesh Parameshwaran, adding that another infection doctors were targeted was leptospirosis, which can strike people wading through stagnant water.

Waters had receded in parts of Pandalam, a central Kerala town, and some residents were returning home. Five hundred and forty more reinforcements have also been sent in on Thursday morning. The city's worldwide airport has been ordered shut until Sunday.

The state's main airport in Kochi remains flooded, so an airstrip at the city's naval base is expected to open for commercial flights from Wednesday, to allow the delivery of more aid.

Kerala faces no shortage of food, at least.

The state has cancelled all official celebrations in connection with the Hindu harvest festival. "Kerala received Rs 210 crore towards the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund and a promise of Rs 160 crore", he said.

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