India: Rains leave at least 19 dead and a dozen missing



At least 19 people died and around a dozen are still missing from the effects of heavy rains in the southern Indian state of Kerala, where they have caused flooding and landslides.

The rains in recent days have caused at least 19 deaths this weekend in the southern districts of Idukki and Kottayam, mainly due to landslides, a source from the Kerala Information Department said on Sunday.

In addition, he noted, “more people are missing, although there is no exact number, around ten”, among which is a one-year-old child.

Image taken from a naval helicopter over a landslide in the Kottayam district of southern Kerala state. AP /

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) continues intensive rescue efforts, especially in the area affected by a landslide in Idukki, as reported on Twitter, where they showed images of the landslide that devastated what it found in its path. reach a river on the side of a mountain.

During operations in the state they have rescued at least 33 people, including seven children, detailed the director general of the NDRF, Satya Pradhan.

According to the Indian Department of Meteorology the situation is improving in the region, and In the districts most affected by rainfall, the alert code has been reduced since Saturday in Red (heavy or extremely heavy rain) to yellow (moderate rain) on Sunday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi regretted in a Twitter message “that some people have lost their lives due to heavy rains and landslides in Kerala,” and extended his “condolences to the families” of the victims.

Landslides and floods are common during the monsoon season in South Asia, where in addition to casualties, significant material damage occurs, but the state of Kerala has been particularly hard hit in recent years.

Between May and August 2018, torrential rains, which caused the worst flooding in nearly a century in Kerala, caused at least 370 deaths, while a year later heavy rains left 76 deaths in the region.

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