India floods: At least eight dead and dozen missing after heavy rain triggers flash flooding in Kerala

State governor urges people to be vigilant as he offers condolences to bereaved families

Conrad Duncan
Sunday 17 October 2021 15:02
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Heavy rainfall lashes parts of Kerala

At least eight people have died and another dozen are feared missing following torrential rain in India’s southern state of Kerala that triggered flash floods and landslides.

Six districts have been reported as being placed on red alert for flooding after one saw more than 12cm of rain on Saturday evening.

The country’s National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army have deployed teams to help with rescue efforts in two of the worst-hit districts, Kottayam and Idukki, where multiple people are still thought to be missing.

Kerala’s governor Arif Mohammad Khan warned on Saturday that people in the state needed to remain vigilant as he expressed his “deep grief” over the loss of lives from the floods.

“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I request people to be vigilant, pay heed to warnings and cooperate with rescue teams,” he said in a statement shared on social media.

When the heavy rain began earlier this weekend, television reports showed people wading through chest-deep waters to rescue passengers from a bus that was nearly submerged in the floods.

Although officials have said that the intense rainfall has subsided for now, there are fears that the death toll could rise as rescue operations continue.

Home minister Amit Shah said that the federal government was monitoring the situation in Kerala and would provide all possible support to the state.

Kerala suffered from catastrophic flooding in 2018 which was described as the worst in a century, killing hundreds of people and driving hundreds of thousands from their homes.

Pinarayi Vijayan, the state’s chief minister, said at the time that more than 200,000 people had been displaced by torrential rain that lasted for more than a week.

Additional reporting by AP

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