Expats worried about relatives trapped in south India floods

Expats worried about relatives trapped in south India floods

Dubai - Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra are the worst-affected in the rains during the recent days.

By Anjana Sankar

Published: Sat 10 Aug 2019, 11:34 PM

Scores of expats from flood-hit Indian states are anxious about their families' safety back home.
Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra are the worst-affected in the rains during the recent days, with Kerala registering a death toll of are 45 people.
With electricity outage in some affected areas continue for the third consecutive day, many Keralites in the UAE said they are unable to reach out their loved ones.
"I have not been able to speak to my wife since yesterday as her mobile phone has run out of charge. The first floor of my house in Nilambur is completely under water," Bijumon Jacobson, a production engineer in Dubai, told Khaleej Times.
"The situation is terrifying. My father had a narrow escape when the water came rushing through our gate and reached till his neck. He had gone to the house to collect the passports of my wife and children, and other valuables. Within seconds, water gushed in and he was under water." Jacobson said more than 30 houses in his neighbourhood in Bhoothanam in Pothukallu panchayat in Malappuram district were destroyed in a landslide.
"This is hardly four kilometres away from my house. More than 80 people are feared trapped under the mud. Al the houses got completely swallowed," Jacobson said.
"We cannot do much from here except trying to call them. But as the phones are off, I am unable to reach my wife. I spoke to my father briefly this morning but he said he has to store the phone battery for emergencies."
Krishnadas, who works as a driver in Dubai, said his house in Nilambur is badly affected.
"My wife, father and mother have moved to a temple in the neighbourhood. We have lost everything and the house is not livable." Krishnadas also has not been able to speak with his family as mobile phones have run out of charge without electricity for the last four days.
"That is the biggest worry. Now, the water is receding but families are living in fear as rains are expected to get worse in the coming days." He said food is running out in the camp set up at the temple and there are dozens of families with children.
"The whole area around my house is under water. If rains continue, we don't know what will happen to them."
Jimshy Jarish, a medical nurse in the UAE, said her family has also moved out to a relative's place as water levels are rising.
"My sister delivered last month and it is too risky to stay in my house with a one-month old baby. My father and mother along with my sister left the house at the first signs of flooding," said Jarish.
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Dubai resident HB, who is gearing up to attend her niece's marriage in Udupi, Karnataka, said she is worried for the marriage arrangements. "My sister's daughter is getting married on August 15 and some of their functions are arranged outdoors. I hope the weather doesn't play a spoilsport. A number of trees and electric poles have been uprooted due to rain accompanied by winds in Udupi district. We are hoping things stay in control, else her marriage arrangements have to be altered."
Hafsa and her sister are worried for their brother Abdullah, who is in Mangalore for vacations. "We were supposed to fly to Mangalore today but couldn't go due to indefinite flight delay. The weather is inclement in our hometown Udupi and Iam worried for my brother as he stays outdoors with friends. I am unable to get in touch with him as the connectivity is not that great. Although he is there at a relative's place I want to quickly reach there and see to it that he stays indoors."
(With inputs from Saman Haziq)

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