Heavy rains continued to batter most parts of south and central Kerala for the third consecutive day today claiming at least one life and causing damage to crops and properties here.

Capital city Thiruvananthapuram and the adjoining Kollam suffered the most as the downpour became more vigorous since yesterday night bringing low-lying areas under water and damaging scores of houses, besides creating traffic snarls.

In Kollam, 40-year-old Ramesan was washed away by flashflood while fishing in a water-logged paddy field yesterday, police said.

Holiday has been declared in all the educational institutions in the two districts in view of inclement weather as the monsoons gained momentum under the combined influence of the depression in the Bay of Bengal and a trough in the Arabian Sea.

Relief camps were opened in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram where about 300 affected families had been shifted since yesterday evening.

Nearly 200 houses were destroyed and another 700 partly damaged in the area, government sources said.

Rivers and rivulets in south Kerala are on spate and an alert has been sounded for the people living on the banks as the shutters of dams could be opened if the upstream got further flooded, sources said.