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40 died in floods in India, airport shut down

Christian Fernsby |
Nearly 40 people have died, seven went missing and several thousands rendered homeless in the floods of India's southern state Kerala, media reported on Saturday.

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Speaking with Xinhua via telephone, an official of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority said nearly 40 people have died so far and they have been working on updated figures.

The death toll is feared to rise even as around 40 people are still buried in major landslides in the state's Wayanad and Malappuram districts, which are being described as the most-affected, according to The Times of India.

More than 100,000 people have been evacuated so far, and efforts are being made to assess the overall damage.

The Kochi Airport, the busiest airport in the state, has been shut till Sunday as it is inundated and not fit for flights landing.

With a heavy rainfall forecasted in the state for the next 24 hours, the country's Meteorological Department has issued a red alert in several districts, including Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Kannur.

Relief and rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Army have been rushed to the state to rescue and rehabilitate the people marooned by floods in the relief camps.

So far, more than 64,000 people have been shifted to relief camps as heavy rains ranging from 20 to 40 centimeters continue to lash many parts of Kerala.

Last year, Kerala also bore the brunt of floods fury when more than 350 people lost their lives.

Earlier, flash floods that devastated India's eastern state of Bihar and north-eastern state of Assam had led to more than 200 deaths.

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