By Shuriah Niazi
NEW DELHI (AA) - At least 14 people have died in the southern Indian state of Kerala after heavy rains in the south and central parts of the state caused flash floods and landslides, the state government said on Sunday.
According to an official statement, 11 bodies were recovered from Kottayam and three from Idukki districts.
Many people are still feared missing as several bridges have been washed away in the south and central Kerala. Kottayam and Idukki have been the worst affected districts in the state, according to the statement.
India’s Home Minister Amit Shah said on Twitter that the government is continuously monitoring the situation in the state and providing support to the affected people.
“NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) teams have already been sent to assist the rescue operations,” said Amit Shah.
The state has been witnessing heavy rainfall since Friday evening. The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of more rains on Sunday.
In a statement, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: “105 relief camps have been opened in the affected regions.”
He also directed the authorities concerned to ensure that the camps are functioning and adhering to the COVID-19 health protocols.
“Those in the camps should ensure the use of masks and that social distancing is maintained. Authorities should calculate the maximum number of people who can be accommodated in the camps,” said Vijayan.
Army, navy, and air force personnel have been deployed for rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the state, according to the statement.