Kerala rains: All shutters opened at Idukki dam

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Rescue and search operations continued in the state on Saturday, with the red alert being issued in 9 districts of the southern state. At least 29 people have died in rain, flood, and landslide-related incidents, while tens-of-thousands have been evacuated from affected areas. Earlier, he had to cancel his proposed visit to the Idukki, as authorities declined request citing incessant rain.

The flooding became more intense after all five gates of the Idukki dam were opened and shutters of more than two dozen dams were lifted, making the Periyar river swell further. Meanwhile, as of Friday afternoon, the Indian Navy had rescued around 50 people stranded at the Panamaram, Wayanad. Similarly, Kollam, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram and Wayanad districts received more than seven times their normal rain.

A high alert has been sounded in Idukki, where all the five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam on Idukki reservoir were opened to drain out excess water.

The water level at Bhoothathankettu barrage through which the water released from Idamalayar dam flows downstream of Periyar also dropped to 30.50 metres by Saturday morning. I urge each and every Congres worker in Kerala to step up & help those in need.

The assurance was given by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a telephonic conversation.

Northern and central Kerala has been battered by heavy rains due to the Southwest monsoon since August 8, which has left 29 people dead, including three on Friday.

Of the deaths, the government said 25 were caused due to soil erosion and four because of drowning.

In fact, the last 24 hours have seen heavy showers with a few very heavy spells of rainfall.

With the possibility of release of more water from the Idukki reservoir, the state government has issued a fourth red alert.

Arrivals at Cochin International Airport halted after water released from Idukki dam, the report added.

In view of this, water level in the Periyar river and its tributaries will rise.

A total of 53,501 people are now housed in 439 relief camps across the state, state officials said.

Multiple columns of Indian Army, Air Force, Navy and ten teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed across Kerala for relief and rescue operations. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has directed Chief Secretary TM Vijayabhaskar to send relief material worth Rs.10 crore and a team of doctors to Kerala. Tourists have been barred from entering the district as roads caved in at many places, reported PTI.

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