Heavy Rain, Landslide Kills 18 People in South India

At least 18 people died a day after torrential rains hit villages and flooded roads in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

News agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported, citing officials as saying rescue teams found bodies in the two worst-hit districts, Kottayam and Idukki, where heavy rains triggered massive landslides.

The National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army have deployed teams to help with rescue efforts as some residents are still feared to be missing.

On Saturday (16/10), as heavy rains started, television reports showed people struggling through chest-deep water to save passengers from a bus that was nearly drowned by torrential currents that flooded the road.

The state’s chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, urged residents on Sunday to be extremely careful even though heavy rains have eased. He added that more than 100 relief camps had been set up.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had spoken to the chief minister and added that authorities were working hard to rescue those affected by the disaster.

“I pray for the safety and well -being of everyone,” he said in a tweet.

In 2018, Kerala experienced catastrophic flooding when heavy rains in the middle of the monsoon season killed 223 people and displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes. [lt/jm]

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