Australia

Agonising wait as Indian-Australians hope for news following deadly floods

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More than 400 people have been killed in the southern Indian state of Kerala by its worst monsoon floods in a century.

Australians affected by the deadly floods in India have spoken of the agonising wait before knowing their families were safe.

About 725,000 people remain displaced from their homes after the devastating floods and ensuing landslides, which have so  far killed more than 400 people.

The floods have rocked the 50,000 Australians of Malayalee ethnicity, who have origins in Kerala.

Lucky escape

Lisa Binu's mother and younger sister were trapped after the first floor of their family home became completely flooded.

The IT Specialist told SBS News the pair had no food, no water, no electricity, and no contact with their families for three terrifying days.

"The last time I spoke to her she said the water level is rising up to the seventh step, onto the first floor...and after that I didn't get in touch with her,” Ms Binu said.

“It’s been really hard.”

Lisa Binu (centre) has told SBS News that her mother and sister were trapped in their Kerala home for three days by floods before being rescued. (SBS News)
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Ms Binu said her 60-year-old mother lost countless items in their family home.

“She was so helpless,” Ms Binu said.

“She couldn’t lift anything, she couldn’t save anything. She couldn’t save anything on the ground floor. It was gone.”

Ms Binu’s mother and sister were finally rescued thanks to a small army boat that was able to navigate the waters.

"I just couldn't believe it. I just asked my uncle 'are you sure it's them?' Because even five minutes before I got a message from an army officer saying that area is very hard to locate,” she said.

“I can’t just tell you how thankful I am when I just heard a call from her brothers saying that we found them."

Nearly three quarters of a million people remain displaced after the Kerala floods in southern India. (SBS News)
Raj

After two weeks of downpours in a monsoon that's lasted two months, water levels across Kerala are starting to slowly recede.

But villages are still submerged, with countless homes were completely destroyed by landslides. 

Aid focus

And with rescues starting to wind down, focus is on aid both in India and abroad.

President of Sydney’s Malayalam Association, Babu Varghese is spearheading fundraising efforts in Australia.

"We want to send some medicines and clothes, and cleaning materials. These are the things they badly need," he said.

“We need a little of support and cooperation to rebuild Kerala. No one expected these floods, and we need to stand together.”

The communities are calling on Australians to donate money, food, or clothing to those with no roof over their heads.

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