Kerala: Over 25 people killed due to heavy rainfall, 24 dams opened

Idukki Dam

Over 25 people have been killed so far in Kerala in last 24 hours due to heavy rainfall causing flooding and landslides in the state. A red alert has been sounded for the Idukki reservoir on the Periyar river as water levels continue to rise. It had reached a height of 2,399.56 feet, which is close to the full capacity at 2,403 feet.

Owing to torrential downpour and a subsequent rise in the water level in various dams, shutters of 24 dams have been opened, the first time in the history of the state.

State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “The situation in the state is really serious. We are forced to open 22 dams in the state due to incessant rains. Such a situation never arose in the recent past. We have sought the army, navy and air force’s help. Control rooms will be opened in six worst-affected districts.”

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy in a bid to assist the Kerala government in rescue operations had announced a relief fund worth Rs. 10 crores to all flood-affected areas. He also directed his chief secretary to send relief materials and a team of doctors to the state.

In view of the situation, the National Disaster Response Force has deployed six flood rescue teams at Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Wayanad, Kozhikode, and Palakkad to carry out Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief work. Additional teams were kept on standby at Arakkonam and would be mobilized as per demand.

The Kochi airport had suspended all arrivals at the international and domestic terminals for two hours fearing flooding of the runway after the gates of the Idukki dam was opened today.

Schools and colleges will remain closed in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Palakkad, and parts of Idukki, Malappuram and Kollam districts.