8 of Kerala’s 14 districts are on high alert as the death toll reached 37, officials said August 11. They described the floods as the worst in almost 100 years. However, they might soon become the worst in history.

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed and more than 31 000 people forced to evacuate, according to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority’s (KSDMA) control room in state capital Thiruvananthapuram. The army has been called in to help with rescue efforts.

One government official told Reuters that crops across 26 824 ha (66 283 acres), worth more than $67 million USD, have been destroyed since the rains started on May 29.

Meanwhile, anticipating a drastic dangerous rise in water levels, shutters of 25 dams across the state were opened for the first time. In addition, for the first time in 40 years, all five shutters of the Idukki dam were opened. This is one of the largest arch dams in Asia.

Kerala’s worst floods in known history took place in 1924.

IMD expects heavy rains to continue until next Wednesday, leaving the low-lying coastal areas particularly vulnerable.

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