Ancestral home of Dubai-based expat Musthafa Kuniyil was submerged for a day. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Expatriates from the South Indian State of Kerala shared their horrific experiences of floods back home.

A Dubai-based expatriate from Wayanad district said the situation was scary and his ancestral home’s ground floor was submerged in water for a day. “My house in the vicinity is on an elevated land, still flood water flowed through its ground floor for an hour,” said Musthafa Kuniyil, 48, a sales executive.

Many people in his area have moved to relief camps opened by the government after their houses were destroyed by floodwater and landslide Government officials and voluntary organisations are putting a lot of efforts, but it will be tough for the people who lost their homes to restart their life, Kuniyil said.

Loluck Baby, 31, an Abu Dhabi-based educationist who is on vacation in his hometown, Palakkad, said he and his family were terrified to hear that around 100 families in a hilly area near Malampuzha dam, where his aunt lives, was totally isolated after a major landslide. “Fortunately my aunt’s family was safe. Disaster management personnel guided many families to safety and army/navy helicopters rescued the remaining families. The government machinery was working very very effectively,” Baby said.

He said railway tracks at Kanjikkode railway station were washed away but the authorities restored them in a few hours.

“Many old people were saying it is the first time after 1924, our district [Palakkad] faced a flood,” Baby said.

Meanwhile, some UAE-based businessmen and voluntary organisations have geared up their efforts for the distressed people.

Clockwise from left: Yousuf Ali M.A., Dr Azad Moopen and Dr B.R. Shetty.

Yousuf Ali, chairman and MD of LuLu Group has announced Rs50 million (Dh2.65 million) donation to the Kerala chief minister’s relief fund. Apart from this he had donated R20 million (Dh1.06 million) to the prominent newspapers in Kerala last week for their flood relief initiatives.

Dr B.R. Shetty, chairman of Unimoni & UAE Exchange, has contributed R20 million to the chief minister’s fund. He also said hundreds of staff from the Unimoni’s wide network of offices across Kerala have come forward for relief efforts.

Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and MD of Aster DM Healthcare has announced Rs5 million (Dh265,000) for the chief minister’s fund. Aster Disaster Support Team comprising 200 medical and non-medical volunteers has started working with local government relief centres to conduct medical camps, health check-ups and provide essential materials for sustenance.

Fazil Musthafa, a health care sales executive in Dubai who established a clothes bank in Kerala in December 2017, said clothes were distributed to the flood victims.

“We donated the past month’s stock of clothes to around 1,000 people in various relief camps in Wayanad, the worst affected district in the state. More people may come forward to donate used clothes in good condition for the flood victims,” Musthafa said.