22 dead as rain batters south Indian state of Kerala

STR / AFP

At least 22 people have died as heavy rain continued to batter the south Indian state of Kerala, with the state government issuing red alert in nine districts.

Over 22,000 people have been shifted to relief camps across the state and schools ordered shut, with officials adding that the death toll is likely to rise. 

Relief and rescue operations are currently underway with teams from the Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and fire departments pressed into action.

Meanwhile, flight operations at the Cochin International Airport have been suspended till 3:00 pm (local time) on Sunday due to the heavy downpour. 

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