efe-epaNew Delhi

At least 324 people have been killed in torrential rains that have been lashing the southern Indian state of Kerala for over a week, prompting the authorities to issue a red alert in the region, official sources said Friday.

The authorities have claimed this to be the worst flooding in the state in the last century.

The office of governor Pinarayi Vijayan said 324 people were killed and over 220,000 were forced to stay in over 1,500 camps.

India's Meteorological Department predicted heavy rains across Kerala on Friday, too, while the office of Vijayan maintained a red alert across the districts.

Heavy rainfall in the state, with a 30 million strong population, has caused severe flooding, and inundated thousands of buildings and other infrastructure.

Emergency teams have been continuing with their rescue mission using helicopters and boats, while more than 200,000 people have taken shelter in relief camps.

The Cochin International Airport, as well as train and metro services, have been suspended.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday on Twitter that he was in constant touch with Vijayan, with whom he discussed the flood situation and rescue operations.

"Later this evening, I will be heading to Kerala to take stock of the unfortunate situation due to flooding," he said.

Kerala, a major tourist destination, receives one of the highest amounts of rainfall in the country during the monsoon season, which peaks during the months of July and August.