Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Kerala floods : Heavy rains, landslides claim 20 lives

Kerala floods : Heavy rains, landslides claim 20 lives

Some 20,000 people have been displaced and 260 relief camps have been set up.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "24 dams have been opened so far, which is unprecedented and is telling of the seriousness of the situation".

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 will rise in downstream districts with the released excess water from the dams reaching there. The inmates of these houses were shifted to relief camps.

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A 47-year-old man drawing water was killed when the well caved in due to heavy rain at Palavila near Pirappancode on Friday morning. The road to Kakkayam dam site in Kozhikode was cut off after the connecting road was washed away in the floods, reports the Hindu. Five members of a family in Malappuram and five from Idukky died due to landslides. Three other people are missing.

Kerala state's disaster management agency said 11 deaths have been reported since Wednesday from Idukki district alone.

"The situation is grim, especially in the coastal parts of Kerala, given the continuous rains", P.H. Kurian, State Relief Commissioner and Convenor of KSDMA told Reuters. Meanwhile, US also issued an advisory to tourists against visiting Kerala now. He also appealed to traders, industrialists and others to make generous contributions to the Puducherry Chief Minister Relief Fund which would be sent to the Kerala government for relief works. "We stand with our neighbours at this hour of need", read a statement by the Karnataka CM's office. Till Friday evening, a total of 28 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents, a bulk of the casualties being reported from Idukki in central Kerala.

At the same time, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has cancelled all his public functions till August 12 and will monitor the situation. Previous year 1,200 people perished.

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Another team was airlifted by a Seaking Helicopter to Kalpetta with all gear and two electric generators, which was requested by Wayanad district collector.

Several units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed across the rain-affected districts along with four columns of the Army to rescue those who have been trapped in homes flooded by river water.

Currently, Monsoon surge is active over the state of Kerala as a cyclonic circulation is seen over Southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area in the mid-levels.

They are stationed at Adimali in Idukki where rescue operations are progressing.

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According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin at 8 am, thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds are likely to affect Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts.

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