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Dalai Lama expresses sympathy for Kerala flood victims, donates to relief efforts

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People in the state of Kerala clear the debris after days of heavy rainfall that caused landslides and casualty of 23 people so far (Photo/Getty Images)

By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 19: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed his “deep sadness” and prayers for the recent slew of flood and landslides that has resulted in loss of life as well as destruction of properties in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

The Tibetan leader wrote, “I offer my condolences to you, to the families who have lost loved ones and to all affected by the devastation.”

“I understand that the State government and concerned authorities are making every effort to provide help to those in need and that relief efforts are well underway. As a token of my sympathy, I would like to make a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust towards the rescue and relief efforts,” he further said in a statement issued on Monday.

According to the BBC, the death toll has risen to 23, with 5 children among them and many feared missing as relief efforts are underway. The districts of Kottayam and Idukki are two of the worst affected in the state, plagued with deadly landslides after days of heavy rainfall.

The state government along with the military has evacuated thousands of people to safer grounds in 184 relief camps across Kerala, where more than 8,000 people are being provided food, bedding and clothing, sources said.

The threats of the natural calamity in the state is persistent and people have been advised caution as India’s meteorological department has predicted heavy, isolated rainfall in the state for up to four more days.

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