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Kerala floods: Amid row over foreign aid, state focuses on rehabilitation


Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 24: With rescue operations in rain-ravaged Kerala nearly over, the focus is now on taking care of the over 10.40 lakh people staying in relief camps and rehabilitating people whose houses were destroyed in the deluge, even as the row over accepting foreign aid for relief work saw the Congress and Left attacking the Centre.

Kerala floods: Amid row over foreign aid, state focuses on rehabilitation

More than 50,000 volunteers have taken up the task of cleaning houses and public places filled with mud deposits and debris dumped by the floodwaters in the rain fury.

Meanwhile, health department officials said post-floods their focus has shifted to ensuring medical attention for the injured and the people living in shelter camps, cleaning of houses and wells, distribution of medicines and cleaning materials to the affected people.

As many as 387 people have been killed while over nine lakh are sheltered in relief camps in the state.

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The waters may be receding in Kerala but previous post-flood scenarios in other states suggest it could take years for the southern state to help rebuild its people's lives, destroyed in one of the worst floods in a century, and some more to implement measures that could significantly minimise the impact of a similar disaster.

[Kerala cancels Onam celebrations after worst floods hits the state]

The Kerala government has estimated a loss of Rs 20,000 crore, with Idukki, Malappuram, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts being the worst affected. Government officials say the state's topmost priority is to rescue people and provide lakhs of the affected with relief materials. They, however, admit that rebuilding the state will be a "daunting task".

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