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Authorities forecast more rain as death toll from floods and landslides in southern Indian state of Kerala climbs to 28

NEW DELHI – Authorities predicted more rain as the death toll from floods and landslides in southern India’s Kerala state rose to 28 on Monday.

Since the fierce downpours started last week, swollen rivers have decimated bridges and vehicles and homes have been washed away. Several dams were approaching full capacity.

KJ Ramesh, one of India’s top meteorologists and former head of the meteorological agency, said the increase in precipitation was linked to climate change and warming oceans.

“It’s definitely a sign of things to come,” he said.

At least 23 people have died in the districts of Kottayam and Idukki, among the most affected. More than 9,000 people have taken refuge in more than 200 camps across the state, officials said.

The heavy rainfall resulted from an area of ​​low pressure that formed over the southeastern Arabian Sea and Kerala. It is expected to ease on Monday, but the weather service warned that new rain-carrying winds would hit the area from Wednesday, bringing more precipitation.

Heavy rains are also forecast for several states in northern and eastern India.

The National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army have deployed teams to Kerala to assist with the rescue efforts.

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Associated Press reporter Chonchui Ngashangva contributed to this report.

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