30 killed, over 50,000 homeless as heavy rains continue across Kerala


With the water level rising alarmingly in the Idukki reservoir, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has opened five shutters of the Cheruthony Dam, which is part of the Idukki Dam project on Friday to release excess inflow of water owing to heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the reservoir in the past many days.

In the advisory, the USA said the heavy southwest monsoon rains triggered landslides and floods in the state, and American citizens should avoid visiting all affected areas in the state. Three shutters of the Idukki reservoir have already been opened.

"If the rain continues, the other shutters will also be opened".

People living downstream of Periyar and Cheruthoni rivers have been warned that there is a possibility of inundation of banks as torrential rain pounded the state for the second day in a row. Many areas are submerged after authorities opened the sluice gates of an overflowing Idamalayar dam.

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At least 50 tourists, including 24 foreigners, stranded at the Plum Judy resort at Munnar since Wednesday were rescued and taken to safer places, state Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said. He urged people to be vigilant since this will lead to a rise in the water levels of Periyar river and its tributaries. Previous year 1,200 people perished.

The water level in the Idukki dam stood at 2,399.58 feet (in relation to mean sea level) at 4.30 pm today against the full reservoir level of 2,403 feet, prompting the authorities to issue the red alert, officials said. "At least 4,000 people living in low-lying areas have been evacuated to relief camps". But water levels in the reservoir continued to surge.

As per the reports, two persons each have died from the districts of Palakkad and Ernakulam, 6 from Malappuram, 12 persons from Idukki, one person from Kozhikode, two persons from Kannur, and 4 persons from Wayanad.

It has asked tourists not to go to high range areas and dam sites in the state. The assurance was given by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a telephonic conversation. Now the United States of America government has advised its citizens not to visit Kerala keeping in mind the risky situation. Offered all possible assistance to those affected. Army, navy and air force personnel were called in to help police and residents manage the disaster in the worst-affected six districts in the central and northern hilly areas of the southern state. "As the situation is improved we are resuming all operations from 3.05 pm today", a CIAL spokesperson said on Thursday.