As many as 72 people have lost their lives and at least 58 others are reported missing as heavy rains lashed Kerala over the last few days.

Over 2.54 lakh displaced people have been shifted to relief camps.

All the 14 districts in the state, except Kollam, have people taking shelter in over 1,600 relief camps. Malappuram district with over 54,000 people has the largest number of people in the camps.

Dozens were trapped as heavy rainfall triggered landslides and inundated several low-lying regions across the southern state.

As many as 173 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed across the country for rescue and relief work.

The Kerala government has also sought the help of the Army, Navy and Air Force for rescue operations.

Earlier on Sunday, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who is the MP from Wayanad, reached Kozhikode and drove first to Kavalapara and visited a church where 360 people were taking shelter. He listened to their woes and assured them of all possible help.

Gandhi will be touring Wayanad on Monday where he is expected to visit a few relief camps and affected areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Friday assured Rahul Gandhi all help for those affected by the flood situation.

Meanwhile, Vijayan expressed anguish at the manner in which some sections are spreading rumours about contributions to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.

“This fund will be used only for the needs of the affected and not for anything else. Knowing well about this, it’s unfortunate that some negative campaigns are currently on… what we have found out is that the origin of this is from outside our state. The media also has a role in this to ensure that these anti-social measures are curbed,” he said.

“We have not yet asked for funds from the Centre and they are providing us all the support for the ongoing relief and rescue work,” added Vijayan.

The Cochin International Airport that was closed a few days back, was also opened for service Sunday afternoon when the first flight landed.

“Operations have resumed and passengers can come for check-in according to the schedules,” said an airport official.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Karnataka’s Belagavi district on Sunday.

At least 30 people have died and more than two lakh people have been evacuated in the state.