Friday, 22 February, 2019

Heavy showers lash Kerala - at least 20 dead

Kerala rains,Kerala landslide,heavy rains in Kerala People inspect a damaged car following a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Idukki
Deanna Wagner | 11 August, 2018, 07:02

With water levels rising in various dams and reaching nearly maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water. A bridge on the Periyar river in the town was completely destroyed by the gushing waters from the reservoirs. The Ernakulam district administration said there was no cause for concern as the shutters were being opened in a controlled manner. The volume may be further doubled to 600 Cumecs or 6 lakh litres per seocond after reducing the release of water from Idamalayar dam.

Flooding has been reported in several low-lying areas in the state.

The India Meteorological Centre's regional office in Thiruvananthapuram has predicted heavy downpour for two more days in the area. State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that this is probably unprecedented, and described the situation as "very grave".

Two more shutters of the Idukki dam were opened on Friday morning, increasing the water flow into the Periyar river to 125 cuses (1,25,000 litres/sec), reported ANI.

Meanwhile, the inclement weather has forced the Kerala state electricity board to issue a third red alert in the connection. In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after 4 shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened yesterday. Army, Navy, Police and Fire Force are active in rescue efforts, the Chief Minister said.

Speaking to the media here, Vijayan said rains have caused extensive damage to life and properties across the state.

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On Thursday, authorities had opened one sluice gate of the 45-year-old Idukki reservoir for the first time in 26 years and they have now been releasing 1.5 lakh litre per second.

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

An Inter-Ministerial Central Team of the central government is also visiting flood-affected areas, while Army troops are being mobilised from Bengaluru for deployment in the rain-battered southern state.

The northern districts of Palakkad and Malappuram and the hilly districts of Wayanad and Idukki were reeling under floods. Due to heavy rainfall and resultant floods, a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has moved to Kozhikode for rescue operations.

Considering the rain situation, all educational institutions including professional colleges in Kothamangalam, Kunnathunad, Aluva and Paravur taluks of Ernakulam district have been given a holiday today.