Kerala: Death toll rises to 26, CM calls emergency meeting

11 August, 2018, 19:33 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Rains, landslides kill 24, displace thousands in India's Kerala state

Urging everyone to contribute generously to relief efforts, Mr Vijayan, in a Facebook post said that rebuilding the affected areas is going to be an arduous task.

Eight columns of the Army have been deployed in different parts of the state.

Also, at least seven people are reported to be missing due to landslides. The district has received 129. The KSDMA has issued an alert in the nearby areas and has asked people not to panic.

Reports say that all five gates of Idukki were opened on Friday as the heavy downpour continued unabated. The 4th and 5th shutters were opened on Friday after 1.30 pm, when the water level was rising at an alarming level. It had come under severe stress with huge trees that have been uprooted coming and hitting the bridge.

Arrival operations at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) resumed almost two hours after it was suspended in view of possible inundation in the airport area following a rising water level in the Periyar river.

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One shutter of the Idukki dam was also partially opened as a trial run. It is the first time in the history that all the five shutters of Idukki dam have been raised. The South-West monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala, resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state for the last two days.

Due to the increase in the water level at Idukki dam, "it is essential to release water three times (more) than what was being released now", Vijayan said, adding that this will lead to rise in the water levels of Periyar river and its tributaries.

Earlier in the day, three shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were raised by 100 cm with 425 cumecs water gushing out every second. Some houses on the banks of the river were flooded. As the water level in the dam has touched 2401 feet, more water has to be released to avoid overflowing. He has been reviewing the flood situation and relief work being undertaken by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the NDRF. The water is flowing 3 feet below the Cheruthoni bridge. Meanwhile, Home Ministry has released data about the damage caused by rains this monsoon. At present, over 50,000 people are living in relief camps.

Father Abhilash Chirambikkunnel, an official of Thamaraserry Diocese, said officials were providing schools and other church institutions to accommodate people in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

The IMD has further warned of thunderstorms in the Idukki, Wayanad and Pathanamthitta districts. The government has asked tourists not to go to high-range areas and dam sites. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that around 53,500 people are in relief camps in various districts. The Centre today assured the Kerala government of all possible help in rescue and relief operations in the wake of rains and floods, which so far have claimed 26 lives in the state. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity", the PM said in a tweet. Twelve deaths were reported from Idukki, six from Malappuram, four from Wayanad, two from Palakkad and one from Kannur.

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