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18 dead, dozens missing in floods in southern India after heavy rain
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 10 - 2021

At least 18 people have officially died and another 12 are missing after the southern Indian state of Kerala was hit by flooding. Flash floods and landslides followed downpours on Saturday that left rescue services scrambling to help.
Among those whose bodies were recovered in Koottickal, in Kottayam, were two women and a child and at least five houses were washed away, News18 reported.
Teams from the National Disaster Response Force and the Indian army and navy were deployed in Kottayam and Idukki. Those two districts and four others were reported to have been put on red alert after at least one of them saw more than 12cm of rain by 8.30 p.m. local time on Saturday.
Officials said the intense rainfall has subsided, but they fear the death toll could rise as relief and rescue operations continue.
Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah said the federal government was monitoring the situation in Kerala and would provide any necessary support to the state. He said on Twitter: "Praying for everyone's safety."
In a statement released on his official Twitter account, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said: "My heartfelt condolence to the bereaved families. I request people to be vigilant, pay heed to warnings & cooperate with rescue teams."
In 2018, 223 people died and hundreds of thousands were driven from their homes when Kerala suffered catastrophic floods during monsoon season.
Some parts of neighboring Tamil Nadu state were also reported to have been hit by the flooding. Several parts of the Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu received heavy rainfall Saturday. Downpour caused flood-like situation in Thirparappu waterfalls. According to IMD, heavy rainfall is likely in parts of Tamil Nadu for next four days.
The meteorological department on Sunday said heavy rainfall is likely to occur in West Bengal till Oct. 20 owing to a low-pressure area over north Telangana and strong southeasterly wind from the Bay of Bengal.
It advised fishermen not to venture into the sea till Tuesday and warned of a rise in water level in rivers, waterlogging in low-lying areas and landslides in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts due to the downpour.
Standing crops in fields, with paddy being almost ready for harvest in several districts of the state, could get damaged, Regional Meteorological Centre's deputy director Sanjib Bandopadhyay said.
Some of the southern districts of the state, including Howrah, Hooghly and East Medinipur, have recently experienced floods owing to downpour and overflowing rivers.
Bandopadhyay said the southern districts of the state, including Kolkata, are likely to experience heavy to very heavy rainfall from Sunday. North Bengal districts will experience enhanced rainfall from Monday, he said.
The Met department said the downpour, caused by a low-pressure area over north Telangana and strong southeasterly wind, is likely to continue till Wednesday.
Gusty wind with speed reaching up to 40 to 50 km per hour is likely to prevail over South 24 Parganas and East Medinipur and 30 to 40 kmph over Kolkata, Nadia, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and West Medinipur districts, it added. — Agencies


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