Flood warnings in Kerala, India have reached an all-time high as the death toll hits 94. Torrential rainfall has seen the entire state rampaged by floods and landslides that have lasted for nearly a week.
The state on the coast of India, nicknamed ‘God’s own country’, has been ravaged by flooding since the beginning of this month. Kerala has received ten times the normal amount of rainfall in the last 24 hours. Popular tourist destinations like Ponmudi and Munnar are now inaccessible because of the mudslides. Communication networks were shut down by the rain yesterday, and Kochi airport has been out of use for days.
Rescue efforts have been underway for days, but the death toll is expected to rise over the coming days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin travelling to the worst affected areas, starting with the state capital this evening. The prime minister has taken to Twitter to comment on the natural disaster.
“Had a detailed discussion with Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan regarding the unfortunate flood situation in the state,” Modi said in a Tweet.
“Centre stands firmly with the people of Kerala and is ready to provide any assistance needed.”
The disaster has not gone unnoticed by the Australian government. Ex-treasurer Joe Hockey was slammed for his response. He took to Twitter not to sympathise with the people and express regret at the events, but to comment in a way followers are calling “foolish”.
“Send to Australia… rain welcome party will be arranged” Hockey said in a tweet on Wednesday. The politician was immediately called out for his insensitive response, and the tweet was deleted shortly after.
Rescue efforts will continue throughout this weekend, but rainfall is not expected to decrease until well into next week.