At least 15 persons have died and several were reported missing because of heavy rain, which started on the night of Sunday-Monday, and landslides in the hilly district of Idukki, south-central Kerala. The devastation took place when a huge mound of rock and slush came crashing down at Chiyyappara in Idukki while relief work was going on. Cochin International Airport was closed for two days after its runway was flooded and many flights were diverted or cancelled. Many vehicles are feared trapped in the debris and the state government has sought the help of the army and the National Disaster Response Force. Incessant rain hampered rescue and relief at several places and the government has asked tourists to avoid hill stations. In Idukki many houses built on the slopes of hills have been swept away in flash floods and landslides.