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Monsoon rains and heavy flooding have killed hundreds of people and forced more than 300,000 others to seek shelter in the Indian state of Kerala, officials said.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and the vice president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Twitter Saturday the formation of a committee to provide relief to flood-ravaged Kerala where more than 300 people have died due to monsoon floods.

During the current monsoon, the state has been hit with over a third more rain than average, according to India's weather office. "Free towing service is being offered and repairs will be carried out under the guidance of Nissan technical experts", it said in a statement.

Many of them, including children, were rescued from various waterlogged areas. "Please give us a helicopter".

"The umpteen calls that every journalist on ground itself are getting is a proof of the magnitude of the mishap", said a local media journalist.

The CPI (M) and the Congress on Saturday said that the Rs. 500 crore relief announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was too little in the face of the devastation caused by the floods in Kerala.

The football-mad state of Kerala is now suffering after being ravaged by one of the worst floods in its history, triggered by extremely severe monsoon rainfall. She said the floods had destroyed 26,000 homes and damaged crops across as much as 40,000 hectares, with estimated losses of 277 billion rupees.

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He said the teams, till now, have rescued 194 persons and 12 animals while it has evacuated a total of 10,467 persons.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media on Friday that situation continued to be grave.

"We are looking at one of the worst floods Kerala has seen in the last hundred years or so, and now the death toll has been going up".

The Kerala CM also requested one and all for contributions towards disaster relief fund. "The bank is also working on the possibility of starting operations through temporary premises after taking stock of the overall situation", it said.

The Centre on Saturday said the Cochin Naval Base would be thrown open for commercial flight operations from the morning of August 20-a move that will bring a huge relief to people awaiting resumption of air service from Kochi.

The worst affected places include Aluva, Chalakudy, Chengannur, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta, where massive rescue operations were on as scores of persons were rescued.

Many roads and railways have been shut, and one of the state's major airports, in the city of Kochi, has also closed. The rains are predicted to continue, and organized rescue efforts are the only way to save as many lives as possible.


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