NEW DELHI (AP) — Torrential monsoon rains have killed at least 26 people in flooding, landslides and house collapses in the southern Indian state of Kerala with more than 15,500 people taking shelter in state-run relief camps.

Top elected state official Pinarayi Vijayan says the flood situation has become "very grim'" with the opening of sluice gates of nearly two dozen overflowing water reservoirs.

Shibu, a relief official, said Friday nearly 200 army soldiers joined rescue workers in the worst-hit Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad areas.

At least 26 people have been killed in the state since Wednesday, said Shibu, who uses one name.

Monsoon rains kill hundreds of people every year in India. The monsoon season runs from June to September.