Kerala flood toll rises to 37, red alert for 8 districts

Geneva Stokes
August 11, 2018

A team sent by the Central government is also visiting flood-affected areas in Kerala.

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.

Shibu, a relief official told UCANEWS on Friday that almost 200 army soldiers joined rescue workers in the worst-hit Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad areas.

Heavy rains and landslides have resulted in 20 deaths across Kerala on Thursday. State officials said a total of 53,501 people are now housed in 439 relief camps across the state.

Following the opening of the Idamalayar dam, the waters flooded the Periyar river and reached the compound of the Cochin worldwide airport, which was sbut for all arrivals in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today announced a relief assistance of Rs 1 crore to the Kerala government to tackle the situation arising out of floods.

Ernakulam District administration officials said over 2,300 people living on the banks of Periyar river have been shifted to 38 camps opened in view of rising water level following release of water from Cheruthoni and Idamalayar dams.

Three additional diving teams have also been dispatched to Aluva in coordination with the deputy collector for utilisation by the district collector in affected areas to augment the rescue, the release said.

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With the shutters lifted, water in Periyar, the second largest river in the state, rose to risky levels.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is undertaking an aerial survey of flood-ravaged districts after heavy rains lashed the state since the past few days. The relief and rescue ops are going on.

Five shutters were opened in Kerala among which one in the Idukki district was opened for the first time in 26 years.

Idukki has received 129.80 mm rainfall.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.

Army is building small bridges to evacuate those stranded at various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad.

The Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery resumed flight operations after it was halted as a precautionary measure after the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were opened.

He said two Mi-17 V5 were pressed into service for distribution of relief material and winching operations.

Federal home minister Rajnath Singh was expected to travel to the state on Sunday to take a stock of the relief and rescue operations, Kurian added. In Palakkad district, the flood waters started receding on Friday as the quantity of water being released from Malampuzha dam was reduced.

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