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Heavy monsoon rain triggers fatal mudslide in India

At least 15 people have died, while 20 homes have been buried in Kerala state.

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More than 9.6 million people have been displaced across south Asia since the flooding began in June (R S Iyer/AP)

More than 9.6 million people have been displaced across south Asia since the flooding began in June (R S Iyer/AP)

More than 9.6 million people have been displaced across south Asia since the flooding began in June (R S Iyer/AP)

A mudslide triggered by heavy monsoon rain and flooding has killed at least 15 people and buried 20 homes of tea plantation workers in southern India.

Some 12 people have been rescued, police officer Eldhose Madhai said on Friday.

About 70 people have been reported missing in the region, he said.

Kerala state’s top elected official, Pinarayi Vijayan, tweeted that teams from the National Disaster Response Force were on their way to Idukki district’s Rajamalai area, where the mudslide occurred.

Police and fire service officers are also in the area.

Communication links and electricity lines were snapped and a bridge in the area was washed away.

The meteorological office issued a red alert with more rain expected in the region.

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A man pedals his rickshaw during heavy rainfall in Kochi, Kerala state (R S Iyer/AP)

A man pedals his rickshaw during heavy rainfall in Kochi, Kerala state (R S Iyer/AP)

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A man pedals his rickshaw during heavy rainfall in Kochi, Kerala state (R S Iyer/AP)

A Hindu temple in Ernakulam district on the bank of the Periyar River was almost submerged as water levels rose after sluice gates of a dam were opened.

The Muthirapuzha River also flooded low-lying areas of Munnar, also in Iddiki district.

Annual monsoon rains hit south Asia from June to September.

The rains are crucial for rain-fed crops planted during the season but often cause extensive damage.

More than 550 people have died in India, Bangladesh and Nepal and more than 9.6 million people have been displaced across south Asia since the flooding began in June, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

PA