Kerala flooding: 70 stranded at Munnar resort, army deployed

Kerala rains Kochi airport

Kerala rains Kochi airport

The latest red alert is for Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Malappuram, Kozhikode, and Palakkad till August 11, Idukki till August 13, and Wayanad till August 14. Till Thursday 24 people had died, while three more deaths were reported on Friday. Wayanad received the maximum total rainfall of 170.9 mm.

Scores of people residing in Cheruthoni town were evacuated from their homes on Friday as torrential rains triggered flash flooding in the region. The Full Reservoir Level of (FRL) at Cheruthoni dam is 2403 feet.

Several Kerala districts have been receiving heavy rain since Tuesday, claiming at least 27 lives and causing widespread damage.

"Water levels in rivers are on the rise.Thus, there is a need to open the shutters of many dams", the chief minister said.

Five An-32 transport aircraft were deployed to transport National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and their equipment from Arakkonam to Calicut, an IAF spokesperson said. It had come under severe stress with huge trees that have been uprooted coming and hitting the bridge. If the bridge submerges, the Idukki- Kattappana main road and the Thodupuzha- Puliyanmala Road will be cut off and crops on hundreds of acres are likely to be inundated.

Amid fears of the water from the Idukki dam spilling over, two more shutters were opened on the morning of August 10, increasing the flow of the Periyar River by 125,000 litres per second.

Nationwide, more than 700 people have been killed in monsoon flooding.

Five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam of the Idukki water reservoir have been opened since Thursday. Some houses on the banks of the river were flooded. Around 2000 residents were moved to relief camps.

The airport would probably be water-logged if the water from Idamalayar and Idukki dams reach Ernakulam, say sources. A red alert has been issued in eight districts.

Government agencies and voluntary groups are rushing to the affected areas.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has cancelled all his programmes and will be stationed here in the context of the grave situation and also forecast heavy rains over the next few days as well.

Meanwhile, the United States had issued a travel alert and advised the USA citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flash floods.

Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh said he spoke to Vijayan and "assured all possible assistance from the Centre" to the Kerala government. 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.

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