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Kerala rain kills 26, all 5 gates of Idukki reservoir opened, 3 Army units deployed

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 10, Aug 2018, 16:25 pm IST | UPDATED: 10, Aug 2018, 17:19 pm IST

Kerala rain kills 26, all 5 gates of Idukki reservoir opened, 3 Army units deployed Idukki: Heavy rains lashed in the state resulting in the deaths of 26 people. Authorities were also forced to open shutters of 24 dams including Idukki dam to release excess water.

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. 26 people have been killed in the state, battered by rain and landslides.

Normal life was disrupted in Kerala as heavy rains lashed the state, causing landslides and flooding in several areas and resulting in the deaths of at least 26 people in the last 24 hours.

The heavy downpour caused a rapid increase in water levels at many reservoirs, prompting authorities to open shutters of 24 reservoirs, including Idukki dam, to release excess water. Flood water even entered homes in some areas and inundated several localities, reports said.

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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured that Centre will be providing necessary assistance to Kerala battling heavy rains, Chief Minister Pinaryai Vijayan said. He also stated that Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had also assured of his state's assistance.

The Karnataka CM had vowed to give Rs 10 crores for relief and rescue operations, Vijayan revealed in Facebook post. Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind took to Twitter to condole the death of citizens in Kerala floods.

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.

Meanwhile, six teams of National Disaster Response Force have been deployed to undertake rescue operations in the state. Each unit consists of 45 personnel. Support columns of the Indian Army have also been mobilised from Bengaluru.

Speaking to reporters about the “unprecedented” situation in the state, Union Minister KJ Alphons said that Armed forces had been ordered to fly to Kerala immediately. An inter-ministerial team of the Central government has also sent to the flood-ravaged areas in the state to review the situation.

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:
  1.     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.
  2.     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.
  3.     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.
  4.     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.
  5.     26 people have been killed so far, including 11 in high-range Idukki in landslips yesterday as rain continued to pound the southern state.
  6.     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.
  7.     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.
  8.     The waters are expected to reach parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, and the authorities are on a high alert.
  9.     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.
  10.     On Wednesday, the Kochi airport suspended all arrivals at the international and domestic terminals for two hours fearing flooding of the runway.
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