By: Jenelle Eli, American Red Cross
Indian Red Cross teams are working around the clock to help families impacted by devastating floods in Kerala—a coastal state in southern India. Lashing monsoon rains have left more than 370 people dead and forced over 800,000 residents from their homes.
The floods are the worst Kerala has seen in 100 years. All 44 of the state’s rivers have flooded, major roads are blocked by water and landslides, and normal life has been disrupted.
As flooding continues, the Red Cross is helping to evacuate families, search for and rescue survivors, and provide relief such as food, water, tarps, kitchen supplies, mosquito nets and bedding. In coordination with government authorities, Indian Red Cross staff and volunteers are also providing first aid and comfort to people as they struggle to cope with the crisis.
Although water levels are starting to drop, the monsoon season lasts until the end of August and rains will continue through the week with lower intensity.
Challenging conditions as flooding endures
Despite scaling up efforts, the pervasive flooding is hampering attempts to reach people in need. And with large swathes of land underwater, assessing needs and providing assistance is proving to be a challenge.
“Indian Red Cross teams are working hard to reach those worst-hit and communities that have been cut off by rising water levels,” says Leon Prop, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). “Providing emergency supplies and especially clean drinking water is the priority right now.”
Many people left their homes with nothing and are in desperate need of food, medicine, dry clothes, sheets, hygiene kits, sanitary pads and clean drinking water.
Displaced families have sought safety in more than 2,000 emergency relief camps. It’s not clear when they will be able to return home.
To learn more, visit www.indianredcross.org