Heavy rains have hit the coastal state of Kerala since Friday, causing rivers to swell and flooding roads that left vehicles submerged in muddy waters, with several homes destroyed.
Rescue efforts have continued since Saturday, with the help of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. The National Disaster Response Force has deployed 11 teams in southern and central Kerala.
Thirteen people were killed in a landslide in Kottayam district, according to state officials. Nine bodies have also been recovered from the landslide site in Idduki district, officials said, adding that two people are still missing. Three fishermen in Malappuram district also remain missing.
“It is not just floods or landslides that have been the cause of death … two people died because they were trapped under a vehicle and two children died due to the collapse of a wall,” said Dr A. Kowsigan, Disaster Commissioner Kerala State Managing Authority, told CNN.
Rescue efforts are currently trying to determine the number of missing persons, Kowsigan said.
Thousands of people have been evacuated to more than 150 relief camps across the state, according to the Kerala Disaster Management Authority.
Heavy rains were caused by a low-pressure area over the southeastern Arabian Sea and Kerala, the Meteorological Department of India said. The flooding was forecast to ease on Monday, but CNN Weather still forecasts 50 to 100 millimeters (2 to 4 inches) of rain for the area in the coming days.
The Indian Meteorological Department on Sunday issued warnings for later this week, saying that from October 20 a “east wave is likely to affect” the southern Indian subcontinent where Kerala is located, “and cause widespread rainfall. with large isolated drops … and are likely to continue further [three to four] days “.
Home to more than 33 million people, Kerala regularly experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon months from late May to September. However, rapid floods and landslides have become more frequent and severe in the state in recent years.
In August 2018, at least 324 people were killed and more than 300,000 were evacuated after torrential rain hit Kerala
, resulting in the worst flooding the state had ever seen in almost a century
With About 13 of the 14 districts of Kerala were under red alert, the highest level of warning issued during emergencies in India.
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