Thiruvanthapuram, Aug 10: At least 27 people have been killed so far after flash floods hit Kerala following incessant rain. Idukki district is worst affected where 11 people were reported dead. A bridge connecting north and south Idukki district was flooded due to heavy rainfall. Meanwhile, around 60 tourists are stranded in a resort in Munnar after the roads to the resort got blocked due to a landslide. Rescue operations continued in affected areas.
All five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam opened for the first time in 40 years due to increasing water following heavy rainfall. Kerala Power Minister M M Mani who hails from Idukki, however, said the shutters were only opened for a few hours to release the pressure and there was no reason for panic.
The South-West monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala since Wednesday, resulting in flash floods and landslide in high-range Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. Periyar Tiger Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary in Idukki, also faces a flood threat. Eight columns of army, four navy teams and three Coast Guard teams are part of rescue teams.
All Shutters of Cheruthoni Dam in Idukki Opened:
As heavy rains continued to lash various parts of Kerala, all five shutters of the Cheruthoni Dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, were opened today as the water level touched 2,401 feet. For the first time in the last 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni dam was opened yesterday, 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. 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.
Centre Assures All Help to Kerala:
Earlier today, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and assured all possible help in rescue and relief operations. Singh added that the Ministry of Home Affairs was closely monitoring the situation.
“Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the prevailing flood situation in the state. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government. The relief and rescue ops are going on. MHA is closely monitoring the flood situation,” Singh tweeted.
Operations at Cochin Airport Remain Normal:
The Cochin International Airport, which on Thursday had stopped incoming flights for two hours, on Friday said the operations were normal, and there was nothing to be worried about.