India uses military air base to assist Kerala flood relief efforts

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Aerial survey shows the aftermath of Kerala Floods. Pic Twitter Narendra Modi

The death toll from the worst flooding to hit India's Kerala state in a century has jumped to 357 with losses to infrastructure pegged at nearly $3bn.

Heavy rains since August 8 have triggered floods and landslides and caused homes and bridges to collapse across Kerala, a picturesque state known for its quiet tropical backwaters and attractive beaches.

Miss Banerjee on Sunday tweeted in her Twitter handle "My heart goes out to the people of Kerala battling #KeralaFloods In this hour of crisis, to stand beside the flood-affected people, we have chose to make a contribution of rupees ten crores to the chief minister's distress relief fund". However, due to the water still inundating many areas, the situation will take time to improve.

Many are still stranded in their homes with no food and sheaths of water around them at various places in Alapuzha, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts.

In some villages, floodwaters up to 3 meters (10 feet) high had entered homes.

People salvage motorcycles in a country boat in a flooded area at Kainakary in Alappuzha district, Kerala state. Vijayan said a total of 82,442 rescues were made Friday.

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The team later rescued a 61-year-old kidney ailment patient, Raveendran, who needs dialysis twice a week. "There is no food or drinking water.no one has so far come to help us". But he said that by Wednesday, "we realized it's really big".

Officials have called it the worst flooding in Kerala in a century, with rainfall in some areas well over double that of a typical monsoon season.

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After one of the trains arrived, Kurian, the disaster management official, said authorities had largely restored the state's water supply systems. "We all pray for the safety and well-being of the people of Kerala", he said in a tweet.

Officials estimate more than 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of roads have been damaged. The Kochi airport will remain closed till August 26.

An Indian woman rescued by the Indian navy personnel rests with her grandchildren at the Naval relief camp in Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted a brief air inspection tour of the state Saturday and announced an immediate grant of $75 million.

The state chief minister has requested more funding as well as 20 more helicopters and 600 motorised boats in order to step up the rescue efforts.

In addition to the government's hundreds of boats and dozens of helicopters being used in rescue efforts, the BBC reports that "the coastal state's many fishermen are providing valuable support, using their own boats to help the relief mission".

Mr Vijayan said initial storm damage estimates were almost $2.8bn.

At least 250 people have died in the flooding in a little over a week, with 31 others missing, according to Kurian.

The death toll due to rains and floods in Kerala has gone up to 370 on Sunday.

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"I am close to the church in Kerala, which is on the front lines in providing aid to the people", Francis said.

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