Kerala: Rain and landslide kill 20 people

Updated: Aug 10, 2018, 11:16 IST | Agencies

With water levels almost reaching its maximum in various dams, shutters of 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened

Kerala: Rain and landslide kill 20 people
People being taken to safer places following a landslide, triggered by heavy rainfall, in Idukki, Kerala on Thursday. Pics/PTI

Heavy rains in Kerala on Thursday claimed 20 lives, leaving a trail of destruction across the southern state. With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost its maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water.

Of the total deaths, 11 people were killed in a massive landslide in high range Idukki, six in northern Malappuram district, two others in Kannur and one in Wayanad district since Wednesday night, disaster control room source said. Five members of a family were killed in Idukki's Adimali town.

For the first time in the last 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni dam of Idukki reservoir, was opened by noon on Thursday with the water level touching 2,398.98 ft. The full reservoir level of the dam is 2,403 ft. Four shutters of the Idamalayar dam in Kochi district were also opened and people living in the banks of Periyar river and its other tributaries were asked to be vigilant.

Talking to the media after a review meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the flood situation in the state was "very grim" and it was for the first time in the history of the state that 22 dams have been opened at a time.

Search for nine missing fishermen continues
The Indian Navy and Coast Guard continued their search for the missing crew of a fishing boat which capsized after it was hit by a merchant ship at high seas about 24 nautical miles off Munambam harbour. The fishermen went missing after the ship hit the boat on Tuesday.

Arrival operations at Cochin airport resume
Arrival operations at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) resumed nearly two hours after it was suspended in view of possible inundation in the airport area following rising water level in the Periyar river. The CIAL is situated close to the river. "As the situation has improved we are resuming all operations from 3.05 pm on Thursday," a CIAL spokesperson said.

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