NEW DELHI

The death toll from a massive landslide in southern Indian state of Kerala Friday rose to nine, according to an emergency official.

“We have recovered nine bodies. The rescue operation is going on,” said a senior official from the Kerala’s State Emergency Operation Center, adding that a total of 12 people were rescued so far.

“Now search for 57 is going on,” the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media, told Anadolu Agency.  

The landslide in the Rajamalai village of hilly Munnar area in idukki district on Friday morning was cased by heavy monsoon rains, as the officials warned for past several days about flood-like situation in the area. 

The local authorities have dispatched an additional 50-member special task force team to the area to support search and rescue operations. 

“They have been equipped for night-time rescue activities,” said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Twitter.

Several areas of the country are witnessing floods due to the yearly monsoon rains, with flooding and landslides a common occurrence during the season.

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