Rains claim 26 lives in Kerala

Heavy rains pounding Kerala triggered a series of landslides in the hilly Idukki district and northern parts, killing 26 people with chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan describing the situation as 'very grim'.

The Army and National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in affected areas in Idukki, Kozhikode, Waynad and Malappuram districts to assist the civil administration in the rescue operations, officials said.

State Disaster Control Room sources said 26 people have died in rain-related incidents with 17 of them being killed in landslides in Idukki and Malapuram districts.

With several rivers in spate following the incessant rains, as many as 24 dams in different parts of the state have been opened in an 'unprecedented' development.

(Agencies)