The Indian state of Kerala has been battered by heavy rains and flooding for the last 7 days, with the local government declaring a state of red alert

India’s telecommunications companies are making a concerted effort to keep communications services online, as torrential rain and flooding continues to decimate the southern state of Kerala.

Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and BSNL are all providing customers with a free data and minutes allowance, to enable customers to touch base with their loved ones.

With the death toll rising to 173 earlier today, the Indian government has issued a red alert for all 14 districts of the state. Functioning telecoms networks will be of paramount importance as the government attempts to orchestrate evacuation plans and deliver aid across the state.

But with storms predicted to continue until Saturday, Kerala’s network infrastructure has taken a real hammering, prompting the big 4 telcos to band together to ensure customers can stay connected.

"Airtel’s network teams and partners continue making efforts to ensure the network is up and running despite the challenge of lack of power supply and disruption in movement of fuel supplies," Bharti Airtel said in a statement to the press.

Airtel is providing its customers with 1Gb of data over the next 7 days, while Vodafone is giving its customers 30 rupees of talk-time credit.