Monsoons in southern India have devastated the state of Kerala, with 22,000 people forced to leave their homes. Floods last year were reported to be the worst in a century.

At least 37 people have been confirmed dead after monsoon rains devastated the Indian states of Kerala and Karnataka.

Evacuation efforts affected roughly 22,000 people and authorities closed Cochin International Airport, in the southern state of Kerala, on Friday. The rains also caused 20 landslides across the state; authorities fear a number of people are trapped under the mud.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "All arrangements have been put in place to deal with the disaster." The Indian government plans to fly in rescue equipment by helicopter, he added.

Devastation of local infrastructure

Those rescued have since been transported to over 300 emergency camps set up elsewhere in Kerala. 

The flooding is expected to continue in the coming days. Vijayan warned that they might have to open dam gates soon, in order to prevent the water from reaching dangerous levels.

States across India have been badly affected by floods in the last week — at least 38 people have been reported dead and 200,000 moved to safety in the western states of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Experts have warned that deforestation and increasing urbanization were at fault for the rising waters, as well as bad management of  dams across India.

Fuel and water shortages

Officials warned that fuel shortages were widespread in districts that were cut off from larger cities. They also said that hundreds of villages in Maharashtra lacked drinking water and electricity.

Floods hit Kerala in 2018. More than 200 people were killed in the disaster last August, which affected over 5 million Indians.

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