Nearly 100 people have lost their lives since August 8 as Kerala reels under one of the worst floods in its history. On Thursday, torrential rain and floods claimed 30 lives, swamping homes, destroying roads, and disrupting air and rail traffic in many places, officials said. Overall, 97 people have died in rain-related incidents since the second spell of monsoon fury got unleashed on August 8.
The state government said many of those who died were crushed under debris caused by landslides. The Cochin International Airport, one of India’s busiest, has been shut until 18 August due to a flooded runway.
India’s meteorological department has issued a “red alert” in the state. Rescue operations are under way and the federal government has sent additional forces to assist local efforts. Schools in all 14 districts of Kerala have been closed down and some districts have banned tourists citing safety concerns.