The Indian Army built a 35 feet long bridge and rescued approximately 100 people, including children and senior citizens, from flooding in Malampuzha's Valiyakadu village, 15 August 2018. Photo: ANI

16 August 2018 (BBC News) – More than 100 people are thought to have died in devastating monsoon floods in India's southern state of Kerala, the worst in almost a century.

Rescuers battled torrential rains to save residents, with nearly 150,000 reportedly left homeless.

The state government said many of those who died were crushed under debris caused by landslides.

With more rains predicted and a red alert in place, the main airport has reportedly been shut until 26 August.

A state official told AFP that 106 people had now died, while the Economic Times in India reports 114 have been killed.

Hundreds of troops have been deployed to rescue those caught up in the flooding, alongside helicopters and lifeboats.

The government has urged people not to ignore evacuation orders. It is distributing food to tens of thousands who have fled to higher ground.

"We're witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters.

"Almost all dams are now opened. Most of our water treatment plants are submerged. Motors are damaged."

He added that the failure of the state government of neighbouring Tamil Nadu to release water from a dam had made the situation worse. [more]

India monsoon floods 'kill 106' in Kerala

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