Indians in Malta heartbroken over the unknown fate of relatives in Kerala floods
The Monsoon season in India started in June and has so far left about 1,000 people dead; however, the intensity of rainfall in recent days in the state of Kerala in the south of India is most unexpected and has caused severe floods resulting in many deaths and thousands of people homeless. Two Indian nurses who reside in Malta and who hail from Kerala told TVM the floods are far worse than that being shown in film footage and that most of Kerala is under water. They said that many families are still trapped in areas where it is impossible for rescue teams to reach them.
So far the Kerala flood death toll has reached 325 persons and half-a-million people having to be evacuated while many are stuck in upper storeys or high-up places without basic necessities. Rescue teams are using helicopters and boats to evacuate victims in what are being described as the worst floods for the last 100 years.
Vinod Kumar and Thomas Warghise (Vargis) arrived in Malta six years ago from Kerala and work as nurses. They are heartbroken, especially Vinod who has had no news of his family.
Vinod Kumar said, “I tried to call them over the last two days but thereafter I couldn’t call them because we live in the countryside and there are a lot of problems from the flooding. It is a great cost that a lot people die and countryside people are affected a lot.”
Thomas said he had managed to contact his relatives and all is well with them. He said that a manifestation that had been planned in the coming week by the Assoċjazzjoni Malta Malayalee which brings together all those from Kerala state will now be changed into a fund-raising event in aid of those affected by the floods.
Thomas Varghese said, “Some friends who are there are saying it is not like what you see on TV or video, it’s more devastating and it is the worst thing that can happen to a state. We cancelled all those programmes under the Malta Malayalee Association and we are going to organise fund raising which is going to be sent to the Chief Minister not for the current situation, nor for food but for future development because most of the infrastructure actually has to be demolished and rebuilt”.
There are about 3,000 Indians residing in Malta mainly in the health and hospitality spheres and almost half of them (1,500) are from Kerala.