Idukki: People inspect a damaged car following a landslide, triggered by heavy rains, in Idukki, Kerala on Thursday
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The incessant heavy downpour has wreaked havoc in Kerala as the toll due to landslides and other rain-related incidents continued to mound on Friday. As heavy rains continued to lash various parts of Kerala, all five shutters of the Cheruthoni Dam, part of the Idukki Reservoir, were opened today as the bridge in the town, connecting north and south Idukki district, has been flooded due to incessant heavy rainfall in the region.
For the first time in the last 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni Dam was opened yesterday and rest four were opened today.
The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet and storage capacity is 69,268 Mcft and storage percentage is 97.61 per cent. The South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state since the past two days.
So far 26 people have been killed, including 11 in high range Idukki in landslips yesterday as rain continued to pound the southern state. Around 60 people are stranded in a resort in Munnar after the roads to the resort got blocked due to a landslide.
Idukki has received 129.80 mm rainfall.
Kozhikode: Roof of a house collapses following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Kodencheri in Kozhikode district of Kerala on Thursday
With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water.
According to state disaster control room sources, 241 relief camps have been opened and 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas.
Over 5,500 people from Wayanad district, where a red alert had been sounded yesterday, have been shifted to relief camps, the sources said this morning.
In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after 4 shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened yesterday.
According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin at 8 am, thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds are likely to affect Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts.
Idukki: Fire Services personnel rescue a child following a landslide, triggered by heavy rains, in Idukki, Kerala on Thursday
Army’s help sought
The Kerala government has sought the Army’s help to control and situation and cap the large-scale damage reported from various parts of the state.
A team of the Army’s Military Engineering Group is set to arrive at Kozhikode and Ernakulam, officials said, adding that some Army officers from Kannur had already reached the flooded Wayanad.
Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force have left Chennai for Kerala. An inter-ministerial Central team is visiting the flood-ravaged area and Army support is also being mobilized from Bengaluru, the statement said.
Karnataka rushes relief materials to flood-hit Kerala
Karnataka is rushing Rs 10 crore worth relief materials to the neighbouring flood-hit Kerala following heavy monsoon rains, said an official statement on Thursday. “Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy directed state Chief Secretary TM Vijaya Bhaskar to rush relief materials and a team of doctors to Kerala, reeling under heavy rains and flash floods,” said the statement.
On Kerala’s request, the state government has also agreed to release 75,000 cusecs of water from Kabini reservoir in Mysuru districts to tackle the flash floods caused by excessive backwaters across the border in Kerala. As one of the tributaries, Kabini originates in the Waynad district and flows eastward to join the Cauvery river at T Narasipura in Karnataka.
“Kumaraswamy also called on his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the flood situation in that state. He also offered more relief material and aid to the affected people across the state,” added the statement.
PM Modi speaks to CM Pinarayi Vijayan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the wake of heavy rains and floods in the state, and offered all possible assistance to those affected.
“Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the state. Offered all possible assistance to those affected. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity,” the PM said in a tweet.
Palakkad: A view of houses submerged in water following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Palakkad in Kerala on Thursday
US issues advisory against travel to Kerala
The US has issued an advisory, asking its citizens not to visit Kerala because of the flash floods in the state. In the advisory, the US said the heavy southwest monsoon rains triggered landslides and floods in the state, and American citizens should avoid visiting all affected areas in the state.
“Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods,” it read.
Kerala, dubbed as God’s own country, is a global tourist destination.
Idukki: Rescue operations being carried out following a landslide, triggered by heavy rains at Adimali
The situation is ‘pretty bad’: Min
Power Minister MM Mani, who is from Idukki, said the situation in the district was “pretty bad”. “The shutters of the Idamalyar dam were opened. We will open a shutter of the Idukki dam also,” he said.
The capacity of the Idukki dam is 2,403 meters. At 12.30 pm, when the water level crossed 2,399 meters after a gap of 26 years, one shutter of the dam was opened. “At the moment everything is under control,” said Idukki legislator Roshy Augustine.
The Malampuzha dam, which was opened a few days, sent out waters which have created havoc in certain areas of Palghat, which borders Tamil Nadu. Water has entered houses in many low-lying areas of the district.
(With inputs from agencies)