Kerala Floods: People Cry For Help as Despair Mounts

270

Trapped people are using social media seeking desperate help to be rescued even as time is running out.

Kochi: Telephone lines are flooded with calls and TV channels have a torrent of messages of people pleading to be rescued. They have been trapped in their houses or nearby places for four days without food, water or medicines.

Trapped persons made urgent appeals on social media for help, saying they cannot contact rescue services as power and communication lines have snapped.

Families trapped in high rise flats, students stranded in hostels and devotees in churches used social media platforms to seek help and pass on information about their location using Google maps. Videos of people pleading for help with folded hands, are being posted and shared by hundreds of people on WhatsApp groups.

Kerala is witnessing its worst floods since 1924, when 3,338 mm of rain poured, in which hundreds of people have died and over two lakh people have been left homeless.

Chief minister Vijayan termed the situation as “really serious”. He said that although two lakh people have been shifted to as many as 1,568 relief camps, many are still stranded. Air, railway and road services remained disrupted in many areas for over five days, and marooned people flooded government and media offices with desperate phone calls. Fresh landslides were also reported from Wayanad and Kannur districts.

“We are trying our best to rescue marooned people. Saving lives is our main concern now. Rescue operations are being taken up on a war footing with choppers and boats,” Vijayan said, adding that over 15,000 people were evacuated in the last two days. He dispelled reports that a few dams in the state were in the danger of bursting.

More aid poured in from around India, with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announcing all MLAs and MPs of his Aam Aadmi Party would donate a month’s salary, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik announcing Rs 5 crore, and his Bihar and Haryana counterparts Nitish Kumar and Manohar Lal Khattar, Rs 10 crores each. Medicines worth Rs 1 crore were sent from Tamil Nadu.

The United Arab Emirates announced it will be forming a committee to help flood-hit areas of Kerala.