Kerala on high alert as flash floods kill 37  8/11/2018 10:01:00 PM  2  Agencies/Kochi

More than half of the 14 districts in India's Kerala state have been put on high alert, officials said on Saturday, as the death toll from one of the worst floods in the southern state reached 37. The flash floods have displaced around 36,000.

"Our state is in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc," Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

The US embassy has advised its citizens to avoid the areas affected and monitor local media for weather updates. Torrential rains and landslides during India's June-September mansoon season have ravaged farmlands and prompted massive evacuation efforts in Kerala state.

Crops on 1,031 hectares have been damaged and 36,000 people have been forced to take shelter in rescue camps, according to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority's control room.

A senior official there said eight districts had been put on varying levels of high alert.

Another government official previously said crop worth Rs3.42 billion across 26,824 hectares had been destroyed by rains since their onset on May 29.�

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