Rains have been diminishing in parts of Kerala state, where floods and landslides have killed more than 200 people in less than two weeks and about 800,000 more have been forced into thousands of relief camps.
Ucanews.com reported that all 41 Catholic dioceses in the southern state have opened schools and other institutions to accommodate flood victims and are cooperating to send food, clothes and other relief materials to affected areas. "About 95 percent of people affected have been rescued and put up in relief camps".
A total of 1,028,000 people were now recorded in about 3,200 relief camps across the state, a state government spokesman told AFP.
Declaring the Kerala floods as a "national calamity" would help in garnering funds not only from the country but also in getting aid from overseas, Antony said.
Chandrasekharan said only a small number of people remain stranded in some pockets that have so far been inaccessible to rescue crews.
As the rains subsided on Sunday, relief efforts focused on rescuing those marooned in isolated places for days and airdropping supplies to others, police and officials said.
The threat of disease outbreaks is now a primary concern, with carcasses in floodwaters raising fears of health risks to the state's almost 34 million residents.
"There is a requirement for 90 different medicines and the first installment has reached", he added.
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Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the Kerala floods were being treated as natural calamity of severe nature but there was nothing to declare it as one.
The onslaught of rains and floods since August 8 has brought the state to its knees, in what is regarded as the worst floods since 1924.
Due to heavy currents in the flooded river, Chalakudy and Chengannur are now in serious need of help.
"It was surreal. The water was close to the knees at one point and within a few minutes it was touching five feet with a current so strong that we saw big cars floating like tin cans", said Mumthaz, who has only one name.
Indian health authorities said they were focusing on preventing the spread of disease.
Many victims trapped by the heavy rains have already received support from people from all around the world, thanks to organisations who have rallied volunteers and donors to activate donation pick-up points in cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Bengaluru.
Besides that, the Southern Railway had begun running 159 Express trains and 11 passenger trains to ease the communication system all over Kerala. "The state has been asked for daily surveillance to detect early warning signs of any outbreak", a Ministry statement had said. "This is an extraordinary climate event and is in line with scientists' predictions for south Asia".