The Home Ministry on Monday declared the devastating Kerala floods as a ‘calamity of severe nature’. A statement on Monday by Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that “keeping in view the intensity and magnitude of the floods in Kerala, the government of India has declared this a calamity of a severe nature”. Also Read - 'Such a Kind Soul': Kerala Recalls Sushant Singh Rajput's Generous Act When He Donated Rs 1 Crore Towards 2018 Floods

This categorisation will enable the state get greater monetary and other assistance from the Centre. Also Read - UK's Chief Nurse Makes Emotional Speech Asking People to Stay Inside For Aimee And Areema, Nurses Who Died From Coronavirus

The death toll in the current spell of monsoon fury that began on August 8 has risen to 216. Meanwhile, over 7.24 lakh people are still sheltered in 5,645 relief camps, official sources said. Also Read - Coronavirus in India: Amid Janata Curfew, Death Toll Reaches 6, Bihar Man Youngest Victim

Naidu and Mahajan said they had decided to donate their one month’s salary for relief and rehabilitation in Kerala and appealed to all MPs to try donating one month’s salary too.

Naidu and Mahajan also said that under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), an MP could in the event of a calamity of severe nature in any part of the country, recommend works up to a maximum of Rs 1 crore for affected districts.

Meanwhile, the rains have abated in the last two days and the IMD has said there is no alert of heavy precipitation over the next four days. However, the flood-hit state now faces the mammoth task of reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure and rehabilitation lakhs of people rendered homeless while preventing the outbreak of water-borne diseases.

Kerala Water Authority and Kerala State Electricity Board were trying to restore water and power supply in vast areas that are without power and tap water for the last several days.

Relief material, including provisions, water and fuel have started arriving at the Kochi port from different parts of the country, official sources said.

A team of around 100 doctors and paramedical staff from Maharashtra left for Kerala today to help the flood- affected people.