Flooding began in Kerala earlier this summer with the arrival of monsoon rains, and picked up again on August 8 following days of torrential downpour. Approximately 420 people have died since the flooding began, and more than a million are living in relief camps.
Apple is allowing customers to donate to Mercy Corps using credit and debit cards that are already on file with the iTunes Store and App Store for a no-hassle donation process. Apple customers can donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200, 100 percent of which goes to Mercy Corps.
Apple often uses the iTunes Store and App Stores to raise money for charity during major disasters. Apple recently collected money on behalf of the American Red Cross to help fight California wildfires, and Apple has also collected donations for major disasters like the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the 2013 Philippines typhoon, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian aid organization that says its mission is to "Alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities."
From the period between August 13 to August 20, Kerala received 18.5 inches of rainfall, an above average amount caused by two bands of heavy rain exacerbated by areas of low pressure in the Western Ghats mountain range, according to NASA.
Rain has started to abate this week, allowing rescue and relief operations to deal with the devastation the flooding has caused.
For those who do not want to donate through Mercy Corps and iTunes, there are other options. The government of Kerala is accepting direct money transfers and has set up a website where people can donate using credit and debit cards.
Other relief organizations working in Kerala are also accepting donations, including Oxfam India, Goonj, and Habitat for Humanity India.