Kerala floods leave some metro Detroit residents stranded in India
11:44 AM, Aug 19, 2018
9:41 AM, Aug 20, 2018
(WXYZ) - Historic flooding in India has left some metro Detroiters stranded.
More than 300 people have died after floods hit southern India. Much of the state of Kerala is under water right now, closing international airports and leaving many visitors stranded.
“It’s totally devastating and something nobody had expected,” said Sujith Menon, president of the Kerala Club in Detroit.
It's being called one of the worst monsoon seasons in Kerala in more than 100 years.
Many homes and businesses are under water right now, but folks in Michigan are trying to help those who are in a dire situation on the other side of this world.
Flood waters have turned highways into rivers, leaving thousands and thousands of homes unlivable. Many deaths have been caused by crushing debris from landslides, while other victims were swept away in the flood waters. Those who survived are waiting to be rescued and taken to relief camps.
Many of the Detroit Kerala Club members were in India visiting family before the storms wreaked havoc. Now they can't leave because the airport is closed, so they're trying to help with the rescue mission.
“To save lives at this point. That’s what they’re trying to do,” Menon said.
Those stranded members have been taking videos and sending them back to Menon. Many of the areas they are able to travel to show a few feet of flooding, but they say there are several spots of water as high as seven feet.
“In most of the places what’s been affected is the first floor or the first level of the house is pretty much underwater," Menon said. "Some of these people are on rooftops where armed forces are rescuing them or when the local authorities are rescuing them.”
The organization has started a GoFundMe page to raise $50,000. In four days, they've already raised more than $20,000. In fact, the organization holds an annual festival in August but after what they say, they canceled the event and donated $10,000 towards rescue efforts.
They're updating their website often to show how donations are being spent. They're focused on immediate and basic needs, but Menon says it could take years to recover from the devastation.
The Kerala Club of Detroit is a nonprofit organization that has helped in many international efforts, but now they're hoping you will join them after these devastating floods hit close to their former home.
“Help our brothers and sisters around the world anywhere in the world and this time, unfortunately, it’s in a part of Kerala where were raised,” Menon added.
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