The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Sunday said there will be no heavy rains in the flood-hit Kerala + for the next four days, giving a ray of hope to the distraught people of the state.
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 handsome beaches.
Anil Vasudevan, who handles disaster management at Kerala's health department, said the authorities have isolated three people with chickenpox in one of the relief camps in Aluva town, almost 250 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
A total of 724,649 people are sheltering in 5,645 camps following "one of the worst ever floods" in Kerala that has claimed some 370 lives and caused widespread destruction, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Sunday.
Thousands of stranded people were waiting to be rescued and officials pleaded for more help from relentless monsoon floods that have partially submerged the southern Indian state of Kerala, where more than 190 have died in a little over a week. Authorities say that there's a 30% deficiency in the supply of drinking water at present.
In some villages, floodwaters up to 3 meters (10 feet) high had entered homes.
"I got an update two days ago that nobody had come for her, my aunt and seven-month-old niece". 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 of a typical monsoon season.
At least two trains carrying about 1.5 million litres of water were moving to the flooded areas from the neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Indian railway official Milind Deouskar said, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
Food, medicine and water has been dropped from helicopters in isolated areas. "We all pray for the safety and well being of the people of Kerala". The AP reports that "officials estimate that more than 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of roads have been damaged". One of the state's major airports, in the city of Kochi, was closed this past Tuesday due to the flooding. The first flight - an Alliance Air ATR plane - landed early this morning at the INS Garuda naval air station.
On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried out an aerial survey of the flood-hit Kerala and announced a relief of 71.6 million USA dollars for the battered state, in addition to 14.3 million US dollars announced earlier.
While the central government has dispatched multiple military units to Kerala, state officials are pleading for additional help.
Following the meeting, Minister Vijayan said an initial assessment indicated the floods caused an estimated $2.7 billion in damages.
Rescuers evacuate people from a flooded area to a safer place in Aluva in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 18, 2018.
Hundreds have died and several lakhs have been rendered homeless in flood-hit Kerala.
"Our solidarity and the concrete support of the global community should not lack for our brothers", said Pope Francis.
Kerala has a sizeable and ancient Christian community.