39 killed as floods hit Indian state of Kerala

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39 people have been killed following a flood in India’s Southern State of Kerala.

Officials said on Monday that properties worth 1.1 billion dollars were also lost as the region braces for more rains during one of its worst monsoon seasons in a century.

Also, 33,372 people have been evacuated from villages in low-lying areas and housed in 305 state-run relief camps.

The death toll had climbed to 39 since heavy rains hit the state on Aug. 8, with the fatalities reported in accidents like drowning and landslides.

Highways and crops across over 1,000 hectares of farmland were also destroyed.

State Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, said Kerala was in the midst of the “second worst flood after 1924,’’ with 10 out of 14 districts severely affected and authorities forced to release water from 27 major dams.

“The impact of the disaster is likely to be felt for a long time.

“Preliminary assessment indicates that nearly 20,000 houses have been fully damaged and nearly 10,000 kilometres of state roads damaged.’’

Preliminary costs as a result of the severe weather is placed at 80.3 billion rupees.

The rains eased on Sunday but state agencies were on high alert as the weather office forecast “very heavy’’ rainfall till Wednesday in many parts of Kerala.

Hauwa Abu