Thousands stranded in India as deadly monsoon floods continue

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the state's top officials on Saturday and promised more than $70m in aid. "We have a special responsibility to help and support those affected, especially during these holy and blessed days".

The rescue operations are in full swing and efforts are also underway to ensure people in camps have enough food and water to sustain themselves.

The southern state is struggling to cope with floods caused by the unusually heavy monsoon rains.

The Navy and the Air Force have been conducting several rescue operations in areas where people have been stranded due to water rising to unsafe levels.

Authorities deployed helicopters and navy boats as residents gathered on the rooftops or higher ground areas.

As Kerala grapples in a flood situation, the Meteorological Department has raised the hopes of the people by removing the Red alert from eight of the 11 districts.

But on Friday night, air lifting could not take place in Chengannur as the incessant rains continued in the region.

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The NDRF has evacuated over 10,000 people from the heavy rains and flood waters affected areas of Kerala till now as it said it has launched its biggest-ever relief and rescue operation in the country till date.

Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also sent yesterday a cable of condolences to HE President of the Republic of India Ram Nath Kovind on the victims of the floods which swept the State of Kerala, wishing the injured a speedy recovery. "Please help", he added. "The only good news is that rains have come down in certain areas of the state and we are planning to rescue all those who are waiting preferably by the end of this day", he said.

Other distressed messages were shared online from people trapped inside temples and hospitals as well as their homes.

They are taking shelter in more than 2,000 relief camps.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced late Friday that the monsoon death toll had dramatically risen to 324. The central public sector undertaking like the NTPC and the PGCIL have been asked to render all possible assistance to the state government in restoring power lines. On top of tourist cancellations, Kerala's rubber industry has been hit by the floods.

The global airport in the city of Kochi, one of India's busiest airports, will remain closed until August 26, airport officials said in a statement.

The home ministry announced meanwhile that 868 people have been reported dead in seven Indian states including Kerala since the start of the monsoon in June.