Death toll in Kerala climbs to 22

As heavy rains continued to batter various parts of Kerala, 22 people have lost their lives with over 22,000 people being shifted to relief centres.

Red alert has been issued in nine districts with the worst affected being Wayanad, Malappuram, Kannur and Idukki.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who chaired a high-level meeting on Friday morning to review the situation, told that 22 people have died in the heavy rains in the last three days.

Landslides and mud-slips have been reported from 24 places, he said.

"In Mepaddi in Wayanad, which witnessed the biggest landslide on Thursday evening, the area between two hills areas was completely washed away," Vijayan said.

The government has sought the assistance of the Indian Air Force.

Personnel of the NDRF, Police, Fire force and Forest officials are engaged in rescue operations.

Meppadi in Wayanad and Nilambur in Malappuram are among the worst-hit areas, he said.