Kerala under water: As heavy rain continues, all five floodgates of Idukki dam opened

Aug 11, 2018, 07:19 IST | Agencies

Death toll reaches 27; five columns of Army deployed in northern districts

Kerala under water: As heavy rain continues, all five floodgates of Idukki dam opened
An elderly woman being rescued following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rainfall, at Palakkad in Kerala on Thursday

With heavy rains continuing in Idukki, authorities in Kerala were forced to open the remaining two more floodgates of the nearly overflowing Idamalayar dam on Friday, even as the death toll reached 27 in the state. Rains in the rest of the flood-ravaged state have reduced, a Met official said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is closely monitoring the situation and has cancelled all his engagements. He is staying put in his office in Thiruvananthapuram, coordinating with the various district authorities and the Kerala State Electricity Board, which controls the dam.

A section of the Nilambur-Karad road washes away. Pics/PTI
A section of the Nilambur-Karad road washes away. Pics/PTI

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh earlier had a word with Vijayan on the phone. Both took stock of the situation on hand as the Centre assured the state of all possible assistance. With all the five floodgates of the Idukki dam opened, water is rushing down the Periyar lake causing huge loss to the crops and properties. Since the dam was last opened in 1992, a lot of encroachment has taken place across the banks of the river. Agricultural activities and houses have come up. Around 200 families, who live on the sides of the river, have already been evacuated to safety.

The waters are all set to reach parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur district, and the district authorities in these two places are on a high alert. It was on Thursday when the water level crossed 2,399 metres and one of the shutters was opened after a gap of 26 years. On Friday morning the authorities were forced to open two more shutters as the water level touched 2,401m.

But with heavy rains continuing unabated in and around the catchment area of the dam, the authorities were forced to open the remaining two. As a result, the Cheruthoni bridge has come under severe stress with huge trees that have been uprooted coming and hitting the bridge.

50 tourists stranded in Munnar
More than 50 tourists, including 24 from abroad, have been stranded in Idukki district of Kerala for the past two days as the road leading to their resort in Munnar was damaged in a landslide triggered by heavy rains. The foreign tourists are from countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Oman, officials said.

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