Thousands of stranded people were waiting for rescue Saturday as relentless monsoon floods batter the south Indian state of Kerala, where more than 170 have died in a little more than a week and much of the state is at least partially submerged.
Despite the torrential rain stopping on Friday, more downpours are expected in the coming days.
Rescue operations are in full swing in flood-affected Kerala. Initial storm damage estimates were almost $2.8 billion, Vijayan said.
"There are seven families in this apartment now". He asked the National Highways Authority of India to give top priority to fix the national highways which are badly damaged due to floods. "If this goes out, I will have some charge left in my laptop and then it will be incommunicado".
The Prime Minister was to be accompanied in his survey by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, State Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran and other top state officials. Helicopters and more boats have been pressed into service.
Rescue teams were focused on the town of Chengannur on the banks of the Pamba River, where some 5,000 people are feared to be trapped, officials said.
Thousands of soldiers and dozens of helicopters are struggling to reach people stranded in flood waters. Videos on social media showed groups of people breaking open shops to take food. More than 1.5 lakh people are in over 1,000 relief camps while almost 75,000 houses have been submerged in water.
The data from the Indian Meteorological Department shows that Kerala received 2,087.67 mm of rain from June 1 to August 15-a departure of almost 30 per cent from the 3,368 mm rain in 1924. He said that the impact of flooding due to the release of surplus water from Idukki dam could have been less if the Kerala government had released the water between July 31 and August 8 when the rain was subdued.
In a statement, Modi promised $71.6 million in assistance along with other relief such as food and medicines.
Several individuals have also launched their own efforts to mobilise funds and material to help those affected by the floods.
In the wake of massive floods in Kerala, the Centre on Friday chose to open Kochi Naval airstrip for use by commercial aircraft by Monday and deploy five more choppers, taking the total number of aircraft used for rescue and relief to 96.