Flooding has been reported in several low-lying areas in Kerala after heavy rain
Thiruvananthapuram: As water levels continue to rise in rivers and reservoirs of Kerala, a third red alert has been issued for Idukki reservoir and the shutter of one of the dams will be opened again today to maintain the water level. Four naval teams and a Sea King helicopter have been sent to Wayanad to evacuate stranded people. Army has deployed over 200 personnel at Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad and about 150 are headed for Kozikode and Mallapuram. Search and rescue operations are underway in low-lying areas of Ernakulum and Idukki districts after heavy rain and landslips killed at least 26 people in Kerala. Heavy rainfall is expected in the next 24 hours in several districts. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought help from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and said "the situation is very serious".
Here are 10 points on the rain situation in Kerala:
"Things are pretty bad," Kerala Power Minister MM Mani, who is from Idukki, said. "The shutters of the Idamalyar dam were opened. We will open a shutter of the Idukki dam also," he said.
Three teams of the NDRF have been deployed at Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts. Army, Navy, Police and Fire Force are active in rescue efforts, the Chief Minister said.
Relief camps have been opened in two villages in Ernakulam.
The Kochi airport had suspended all arrivals at the international and domestic terminals for two hours this afternoon fearing flooding of the runway after the gates of the Idukki dam was opened on Thursday. But the services resumed after 3 pm, airport officials told NDTV.
The authorities are anticipating that the water level in the river Periyar may increase further once the water from Cheruthoni dam reaches the area. Airport authorities said as of now, the departure of flights will not be affected. The decision to suspend arrivals was made keeping in mind the runway flooding in 2013 from Periyar.
Eleven people were killed in Idukki district, six in Malappuram, two in Kozhikode and one in Wayanad because of the heavy rain. Several people have also been reported missing in Palakkad, Wayanad and Kozhikode, according to officials.
Flooding has been reported in several low-lying areas in the state. Due to heavy rainfall and resultant floods, a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has moved to Kozhikode for rescue operations.
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, 22 dams have been opened over the last few weeks due to the rising water levels.
Schools and colleges will remain closed in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Palakkad and parts of Idukki, Malappuram and Kollam districts. As heavy rain is expected in the next 24 hours, the annual Nehru boat race in Alappuzha has also been postponed.
The United States Consulate General Chennai has issued a travel alert and advised the US citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flashfloods.