Torrential rains kill 35, bring India storm death toll to 68

ROME, Italy — Torrential rain lashed southern India on Monday, killing at least 35 people, local officials said, bringing the death toll from severe weather to 68 over the past five days.

India’s disaster management authority (AMMA) had no immediate estimate of the toll from the Monday rains and flash floods, but said in a statement it had received reports of 65 deaths from nine districts in the south Indian state of Kerala.

“We are getting calls now from rescue workers saying that a helicopter has crashed after it came down due to strong winds,” A.M. Ibrahim, a police superintendent in the southern district of Alappuzha, told Reuters.

The civil aviation ministry said Indian Air Force helicopters were flying to towns in the state to help rescue and relief operations.

Heavy rains and warnings of more downpours followed a weekend of violent weather, when a cyclone uprooted trees and clogged highways and ripped up roads.

Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed in the state as a result of the massive storm, which people were advised to stay indoors for much of the weekend.

The Meteorological Department said the region was likely to experience heavy rains until Tuesday.

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