A 45-member team of the National Disaster Response Force has been pressed into action in south-west Kerala's Kottayam district to speed up evacuation from flooded areas.
"We are prioritising, specifically for the elderly and the ill, since many could be stranded at their homes. Many of those places won't be safe at night," Assistant Commandant Jitesh told NDTV.
"We are trying to get them to a safe place before night falls," he said. Another NDRF team is on standby in Kerala.
Four teams of the Kerala fire and rescue services have helping in relief work since Tuesday morning.
Kottayam is one of the worst-affected districts in Kerala, with many towns and paddy fields flooded. In Kottayam itself, some 7,000 people have been evacuated and sent to relief camps.
Ernakulam and Alappuzha are the other districts that have been severely hit due to heavy rain.
In all, the India Meteorological Department or IMD has sounded an alert in 11 districts in Kerala for heavy rain till Friday.
Some 34,000 people have been evacuated across Kerala in the last two days, and 13 people have died due to rain related accidents since July 9. A total of 270 relief camps have been set up across the state since Sunday last.
As the water level in rivers continues to rise, several roads in Kottayam have been flooded, with people even pitching in to help in home-made boats.
"I am scared of drowning in this boat. Now I am being called back because my reliever can't make it to the hospital," said a man who was being taken to hospital through a flooded road.
"We have not seen such kind of flooding in this area since 1994," said Balanchandran Nair, 65, a resident. Some of the flooded areas used to be paddy fields decades ago.
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