Death toll from Indian floods reaches 147, thousands evacuated

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The death toll from floods in the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra has risen to at least 147, according to authorities, as rescue teams raced to evacuate people and waters submerged parts of a world heritage site.

Heavy rain and landslides forced hundreds of thousands of people to take shelter in relief camps, while train services were cancelled in several flood-hit areas.

In the southern state of Kerala, at least 57 people were killed in rain-related incidents while more than 165,000 were in relief camps in the state, local authorities said on Sunday.

“Several houses are still covered under 10-12 feet deep mud. This is hampering rescue work,” state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Authorities worried that rescue operations would be hit by thunderstorms and rainfall predicted in some parts of Kerala.

“People are facing a lot of problems. Water has come from all directions, water has entered all the houses,” a rescued local, Ajeet Pattankudi, told Reuters News Agency.

Last year, more than 200 people were killed in Kerala and over five million were affected in one of the state’s worst floods in 100 years.

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