30 die in floods, landslides in southern India

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-10 23:30:53|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NEW DELHI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- At least 30 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in the southern Indian state of Kerala in the past 48 hours, officials said Friday.

The deaths were reported from the districts of Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Ernakulam.

"With more deaths in the past 24 hours, the toll now stands at 30. The most deaths were reported from Idukki district. Several people are also missing in these flood-affected districts," a disaster management official said.

Apart from 10 teams of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), the Indian military has been deployed in the state.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) said it had deployed a number of aircraft and helicopters in the rescue operations.

"Five An-32 transport aircraft have been pressed into service to transport National Disaster Response Force teams. Two Mi-17 V5 helicopters and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) have also been deployed," an IAF spokesperson told the media.

Authorities said schools and colleges have been closed in large parts of the state and the annual Nehru boat race in Alappuzha district has been postponed because of the heavy showers lashing Kerala.

State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has attributed the floods to the opening of many dams across Kerala because of rise in water levels in major reservoirs.

"The situation in the state is really serious. We are forced to open 22 dams in the state due to incessant rains. Such a situation never arose in the recent past. This is really unprecedented," the chief minister said.

Meanwhile, the state government has asked the central government to declare it a national tragedy.

"This is a national tragedy. I request the government to proclaim it as a national tragedy and rush assistance to the people of Kerala immediately," Binoy Viswam, a lawmaker from Kerala said in parliament this morning.

Last month, some 40 people lost their lives in rain-related incidents in the state.