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DUBAI: August 23, 2018. Emirates SkyCargo has begun delivering 175 tons of humanitarian aid donated by UAE businesses to Thiruvananthapuram Airport, India in response to severe flooding in the state of Kerala that has killed over 400 people and displaced a million more.

The goods, including lifesaving boats, blankets and dry food, will be handed over to local flood relief agencies and NGOs - including Christian Aid that warns such floods will become normal if more is not done to tackle climate change.

As efforts continue to help people sheltering in over 3,000 relief camps across the state, Christian Aid climate change specialist Kat Kramer said the flooding was a wake-up call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "Science tells us that India and South Asia can expect more flooding events like the ones we're seeing in Kerala, as global warming continues,” she explained. “In the Tropics we can expect more than a 10 percent increase in precipitation for [every] degree Celsius increase in temperature.

EK Kerala floods"These kind of events are a warning to us all of the scale of climate crisis we are facing. The idea of more than a million people being displaced by floods is shocking, and rightly so, but if we don't act to reduce our emissions then these kinds of disasters will become more frequent,” she continued.

As well as Kerala, damage has also been reported in the areas of Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland and Karnataka.

The European Union says the floods are the worst to have hit Kerala in almost a century and have damaged or completely destroyed at least 20,000 homes. More than 10,000 kilometres of roads have been submerged or buried in landslides, while power and communication systems have been severely disrupted.

With the full extent of the damage yet to be realised as search and rescue operations continue, the EU has allocated €190,000 to the Indian Red Cross Society to benefit 25,000 people in some of the worst hit areas of the state. The support will used to distribute essential shelter and household items including tarpaulins, kitchen sets and mosquito nets – the latter to counter outbreaks of vector-borne diseases including dengue, chikungunya and malaria.

Last year the Dubai government announced its International Humanitarian City (IHC) would add 27,000 sq.mt. of warehousing to support the Red Crescent, UNHCR, ICRC and the WFP better pre-position stocks of food, shelter equipment and medicine.

Founded in 2003, the IHC is the world's largest humanitarian logistics hub and is currently used by nine UN agencies, including the WFP, plus 50 NGOs and businesses working in the aid sector.The facility provides cold storage for perishables and medical supplies, an office complex, facilities management, Customs clearance, and registration for humanitarian organizations and commercial companies.

Thiruvananthapuram Airport, which has handled a reported 480 additional flights in the past eight days as a result of the crisis, is a four-hour flight from the IHC and its UN resources.

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