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India Boosts Relief Operation as Floods Kill 29 in Kerala State

Anirban Nag

(Bloomberg) -- At least 29 people were killed due to flooding in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the Press Trust of India reported, even as authorities stepped up rescue efforts amid forecasts of heavy rainfall.

India’s Coast Guard mobilized 53 response teams in the worst hit states of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, and shifted more than 2,200 stranded citizens to relief camps, it said in a twitter post. The National Disaster Response Force also carried out rescue operations in some flood-affected districts of Maharashtra, while authorities in Kerala have evacuated 100,000 people to safer places, local media reported.

On Friday, the government in Kerala issued a “red alert” for nine districts due to heavy rain across the state, with landslides reported in some places.

The latest deluge comes after the worst floods in a century killed more than 300 people last year in Kerala, caused $2.8 billion in damage and left about 314,000 homeless. The state is the country’s top rubber producer and rain normally disrupts tapping.

Kerala’s Kochi airport is closed for operations until Sunday afternoon, according to a Facebook post by Cochin International Airport Ltd. Inbound and outbound flights from Kochi are affected until 3 p.m. Sunday, budget airline IndiGo said in a Twitter post, while AirAsia Group said flights were halted because of flooding at the airport.

(Updates with death toll in the first paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Anirban Nag in Mumbai at anag8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Linus Chua at lchua@bloomberg.net, Unni Krishnan, James Poole

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