Video: Indian Coast Guard Rescues Victims of Kerala Floods

Cascading floodwaters, Kerala (Indian Army / Twitter)

By The Maritime Executive 2018-08-17 19:07:16

The Indian Coast Guard and Navy are contributing to an intensive emergency-response effort in Kerala, where the worst flooding in a century has killed over 300 people and displaced more than 200,000.

India's defense ministry says that 20 fixed wing military transport aircraft and 38 helicopters from the Indian Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard are in use in Kerala, with more on the way. Over 400 Navy and Coast Guard small boat teams are working to rescue people from flooded towns across the province, and rescuers have even used SOLAS-standard inflatable life rafts to bring survivors out of remote areas. Indian Coast Guard cutters at sea have been ordered to divert to the port of Kochi and put their assets into assisting the relief effort. 

Aerial view of the flooding (Indian Army)

Indian Navy personnel conduct helicopter rescue, Kerala (Indian Navy)

Indian Coast Guard boat team rescues survivors in Puthen Velikkara village (Indian Coast Guard)

Rescue teams use a SOLAS inflatable raft to rescue survivors, Kerala (Indian Coast Guard)

The Indian Navy's fleet of Seaking helicopters is in heavy use for the delivery of relief supplies, generators and other goods. 

Despite the efforts, casualty numbers have risen swiftly, and continued heavy rains are expected over the weekend. “We’re witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala,” minister Pinarayi Vijayan told media. Rainfall across the province is about 38 percent higher than last year, and in  the hardest-hit areas it is about 84 percent above normal. The last time that the region experienced such severe monsoon conditions was in 1924, officials say. 

The damage is extensive: at least 20,000 homes are flooded, about 6,000 miles of roads are blocked by landslides, and the main airport at Kochi has been closed until August 26.