India: at least 25 dead in floods
By Francesca Merlo
At least 25 people have died in mudslides and floods caused by torrential rains in southwest India since Friday amid ongoing rescue efforts.
In the state of Kerala, many residents were left in the dark and isolated by last Friday's heavy rains that swelled waterways and flooded roads. The floods destroyed many houses and inundated the means of transport by which people were trying to save themselves: thousands of people were evacuated and more than 100 relief camps were set up.
Victims and missing persons
At present, 11 bodies have been recovered from Idukki district, 14 from Kottayam district. Thousands of people have been evacuated and at least 100 refugee camps have been set up.
The army, navy and air force are all involved in the rescue operations. It is not yet possible to estimate the number of missing people, however, the desperation of the residents is clear and can be seen through interviews and reports on local TV and radio channels.
Residents speak of landslides, collapses and hills completely swallowed up in mud. In a video shared on social networks, cars and buses can be seen submerged in mud and water.
The Prime Minister
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences via Twitter and assured that the authorities will do everything necessary to help the affected populations. Meanwhile, according to forecasts, the torrential rains are expected to subside by tomorrow, but heavy rains are expected in northern India for the next two to three days.
Previous flooding disasters
It is not uncommon for heavy rainfall to cause flooding and landslides in Kerala.
In 2018, some 400 people died and more than one million others were displaced by the worst flooding in Kerala in a century.