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Rain fury continues in Kerala; 22 dams opened

As heavy rains continued to lash various parts of Kerala, two more shutters of the Cheruthoni Dam, part of the Idukki Reservoir, were opened on Friday as the water level touched 2,401 feet.

IMAGE: Land near a house is seen washed away following a landslide, triggered by heavy rains, at Vythiri in Wayanad district of Kerala. Photograph: PTI Photo

For the first time in the last 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni Dam was opened on Thursday and two more were opened at 7 am.

The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet and storage capacity is 69,268 Mcft and storage percentage is 97.61 per cent.

The South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state since the past two days.

So far 26 people have been killed, including 11 in high range Idukki in landslips as rain continued to pound the southern state.

IMAGE: A view of houses submerged in water following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, in Palakkad. Photograph: PTI Photo

Idukki has received 129.80 mm rainfall.

With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water.

According to state disaster control room sources, 241 relief camps have been opened and 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas.

Over 5,500 people from Wayanad district, where a red alert had been sounded on Thursday, have been shifted to relief camps, the sources said.

IMAGE: Rescue operations being carried out following a landslide at Adimali, in Idukki, Kerala. Photograph: PTI Photo

In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after 4 shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened on Thursday.

According to Indian Meteorological Department bulletin at 8 am, thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds are likely to affect Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts.

The government has asked tourists not to go to high range areas and dam sites.

IMAGE: Roof of a house collapses following a flash flood at Kodencheri in Kozhikode district. Photograph: PTI Photo

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had described the flood situation in the state as “very grim” and it was for the first time in the history of the state that 24 dams had been opened at a time following the water level reaching maximum capacity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the Kerala chief minister on Thursday in the wake of heavy rains and floods in the state, and offered all possible assistance to those affected.

IMAGE: A building is seen submerged in water following a flash flood at Kodencheri in Kozhikode. Photograph: PTI Photo

“Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the state. Offered all possible assistance to those affected. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity,” the PM said in a tweet.

The services of army, navy and Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force have also been sought in the flood-hit areas.

Source: Rediff