Kerala Weather: Many parts of the state were flooded after the gates of the Idukki dam were opened.
Idukki: All the five gates of one of the dams of the Idukki water reservoir in Kerala have been opened to control the swelling water which is nearing the full capacity because of the incessant rain. 29 people have been killed in the state, battered by rain and landslides. Over 15,600 have been evacuated from affected areas and around 500 relief camps have been set up. The army, the navy, the air force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are working on evacuation and relief operations. The Kerala government said that more water needs to be released from the water reservoir system to control the rising water level because of incessant rain. A third red alert was issued for the Idukki reservoir, the gates of which were opened after 26 years. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today and offered all possible assistance to those affected.
Here are the top 10 updates on Kerala weather:
- Sixty nine tourists, including 20 foreigners, are stranded at a resort in the popular hill station of Munnar in Idukki. The roads leading to the resort are blocked due to landslides. The army has been called in to evacuate them.
- Because of the pressure of the water gushing down after the dam gates were opened, a bridge has come under severe stress with huge trees that have been uprooted coming and hitting the bridge. Around 200 families who live on the sides of the Periyar river have been evacuated.
- Union Minister KJ Alphons said this is the biggest spell of rain the state has witnessed in five decades."It is the biggest rain we had in 50 years," he was quoted by news agency ANI. The south-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state for the past two days.
- Four more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam of the Idukki reservoir were opened this morning after the water level crossed 2,400 feet. Authorities said the shutters will be opened only for a few hours to release the pressure.
- 29 people have been killed so far, including 11 in high-range Idukki in landslips yesterday as rain continued to pound the southern state.
- Ten teams of the NDRF are involved in the relief operations. The Coast Guard and all the three defence forces have been roped in for relief efforts.
- Locals in Idukki are being warned on public announcement system to stay safe. There are, however, no fresh reports of flooding and landslides in the district. Schools and colleges are closed today in the hilly Idukki district, Wayanad, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta districts.
- The waters are expected to reach parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, and the authorities are on a high alert.
- The inundation has prompted the authorities to open the shutters of Cheruthoni dam on Idukki reservoir for the first time in 26 years as the water level inches close to full capacity. In an unprecedented manner, 24 dams have been opened over the last few weeks due to the rising water levels.
- On Thursday, the Kochi airport suspended all arrivals at the international and domestic terminals for two hours fearing flooding of the runway.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
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