Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued a directive to allocate USD 5 million (Rs 35 crore) in aid of those affected by the floods that recently hit the southern Indian state of Kerala, to help provide shelter to those who lost their homes as a result of the humanitarian crisis.
Qatar Charity, through its representative in India, has launched emergency relief for those affected by the huge floods with a total value of half a million riyals during the first stage.
This humanitarian gesture coincides with the launch of a fundraising campaign targeting more than QR 4 million to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of 60,000 people through food, medical and shelter assistance.
Floods in Kerala have killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands of others besides causing major damage to homes and infrastructure.
Qatar Charity urged philanthropists in Qatar to help people affected in Kerala, by providing food, medicine, medical assistance, restoring and rebuilding homes and reaching out to the victims as soon as possible.
AFP adds: Rescuers in helicopters and boats fought through renewed torrential rain yesterday to reach stranded villages in the state as the toll from the worst monsoon floods in a century rose above 320 dead.
Dozens of military and coastguard helicopters took troops to high risk areas seeking people trapped on the roofs of submerged buildings. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the crisis as “devastating” after visiting Kerala.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced late Friday that the monsoon death toll had dramatically risen to 324.
Media reports said at least another 14 bodies were found yesterday and state officials said they expected the number to rise as more landslides were reported and dam levels remained dangerously high. No new official toll was given however.
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.
Helicopters have been dropping emergency food and water supplies across Kerala, while special trains carrying drinking water and rice have been sent to the state.
Particular fears have been raised for Chengannur, about 120km north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, which has been cut off for four days. Troops and military boats have been sent to the town and media reports said bodies had been found.