Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Southern India flood death toll rises to 350




Southern India flood death toll rises to 350

Southern India flood death toll rises to 350

RESCUERS waded into submerged villages in southern India on Sunday in a desperate search for survivors cut off for days by floods that have already killed more than 350 people.

Entire villages in Kerala have been swept away in the state’s worst floods in a century, and emergency responders fear the death toll will rise as they reach areas almost entirely underwater.

In Thrissur, one of the worst-hit districts, rescuers sifting through inundated houses have discovered the bodies of those unable to escape as the floodwaters quickly rose.

“They didn’t think that it would rise this high – 10 to 15 feet at some places – when the initial warnings were issued,” said Ashraf Ali K.M, who is leading the search in the small town of Mala.

“Some of them later gave distress calls when the water rose high and fast,” he told AFP at the scene, where dead cattle and other livestock floated past.

Thousands of army, navy and air force troops have fanned out across Kerala to assist as distress calls sound out across the idyllic tourist hotspot.

The death toll stands at 357, local officials said, with 33 killed in just the last 24 hours.

Among the dead was a mother and son in Mala, whose home collapsed around them late Saturday.

Another was a local man who volunteered for the search and rescue mission. His body was retrieved by comrades early Sunday, said Dibin KS, a Kerala firefighter, in a grim reminder of the perils facing rescuers.

Officials say many houses are irreparably damaged across the state, and have warned residents against return ing to them.

Thousands trapped

Roads and 134 bridges have been damaged, isolating remote areas in the hilly districts of the state which are worst affected.

With power and communication lines down, thousands remained trapped in towns and villages cut off by the floods amid growing shortages of food and water.

A train from Pune, in Maharashtra state, embarked south on Saturday for Kerala laden with one million litres of drinking water.

Panic-stricken flood victims have been making appeals on social media for help, saying they cannot get through to rescue services.

In Mala, villagers in desperate wait had to improvise as the floodwaters rose.

Jobin K John, a local rescuer, showed pictures of locals rowing through the murky brown waters using kitchen pots as rafts to reach their stricken neighbours.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there