Heavy rains continue to pound Kerala; red alert issued in Idukki

Water level in the Idukki hydel reservoir dropped

At least 22 people have died in Kerala due to incessant rainfall and flooding in the past two days, the Home Ministry said today.

The deluge caused three deaths in Wayanad and two in Kannur.

The army, navy, air force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are already engaged in rescue and relief operations in the worst affected districts. An Inter-ministerial Central team is also visiting the flood-affected area and the Army support is being mobilized from Bengaluru, the statement said.

So far 26 people have been killed, including 11 in high range Idukki in landslips yesterday as rain continued to pound the southern state. Earlier, only one of the shutters of the dam was opened by 50 cm through which 50,000 litres of water per second was released from Thursday afternoon 12.30pm.

Vehicular traffic in many areas of Idukki has been restricted and operations in the Cochin global airport will also be affected after the dam water gushes to downstream.

The CIAL is situated close to the river. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity", the PM said in a tweet.

As the water level rose to 2,398 ft, the shutter was opened on a test basis for four hours.

1,000 families stuck in relief camps
Kerala Monsoon: Hefty rains lash Wayanad, Palakkad, Punalur, Alappuzha

One shutter of the Idukki dam was also partially opened as a trial run.

Officials said 60 relief camps have been opened in Ernakulam district after the dam water reached Aluva and surrounding areas.

Arrivals at Cochin International Airport halted after water released from Idukki dam, the report added.

One of the five shutters of a large reservoir in northern Idukki district, about 240 km (150 miles) from state capital Thiruvananthapuram, was opened for the first time in 26 years.

Of the five family members who were buried under the debris in Idukki's Adimali town, two were pulled out alive by local people and police. Public going near dams to view opening of shutters, is not advisable.

Two NDRF teams have been sought from the Centre for north Kerala.

Educational institutions have declared a holiday in Idukki, Kollam and some other districts due to the rains.

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