Thousands await rescue as death toll crosses 200
Thousands of stranded people are waiting for rescue as relentless monsoon floods continue to batter the south Indian state of Kerala, where more than 200 people have died in a little over a week.
More than 300,000 people have also been displaced since August 8, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) officials said on Friday evening, adding that 2,600 villages have been flooded.
Thousands of homes have been destroyed and more than 10,000km of roads damaged across the state.
The state is "facing the worst floods in 100 years", chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Twitter, adding that at least 324 lives have been lost so far since the monsoon season started in June.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the state's top officials, promising tens of millions of dollars in aid.
The central government has dispatched military units to Kerala, but state officials are pleading for additional help.
"The situation in Chenagnnur is getting worse with every passing moment. Thousands are stranded for the fourth day without food, water and medicine. Unless urgent steps are taken to reach them, there could be huge casualties," Saji Cheriyan, member of legislative assembly representing Chenagnnur, told reporters.
"Please give us a helicopter. I am begging you. Please help me, people in my place will die. Please help us. There is no other solution, people have to be airlifted. We did what we can with fishing boats we procured using our political clout. But we can't do more. The armed forces need to come here, please help us," Cheiryan added in his distress message on tv.