Kerala state – a key international tourist destination with its tropical mountains and beaches – has been battered by record monsoon rainfall in recent days and is "facing the worst flood in 100 years," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Rescuers used helicopters and boats on Friday to evacuate thousands of people stranded on their rooftops following unprecedented flooding in the southern Indian state of Kerala that killed more than 320 people in the past nine days, officials said.
With heavy rains stopping after a week, rescuers moved quickly to take those marooned by floods to 1,500 state-run camps.
They used more than a dozen helicopters and about 400 boats across the state, relief officials said.
The state's top elected official, Pinarayi Vijayan, told reporters that at least 324 people had died and more than 220,000 had taken refuge in the camps.
Heavy rains over the past eight days triggered flooding, landslides and home and bridge collapses, severely disrupting air and train services in Kerala state, a popular tourist destination with scenic landscapes, waterfalls and beautiful beaches.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Kerala on Friday.
Monsoon rains kill hundreds of people every year in India. The season runs from June to September.
Kerala's government has described the crisis – among the worst in decades – as "extremely grave."