Thiruvananthapuram: Around more than 29 deaths have been reported due to nonstop rain I Kerala, in which 54,000 people have been rendered homeless as incessant rain continues to lash nearly half of Kerala. 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. The worsening flood situation in Kerala has forced the authorities to open all the five gates of the Idukki Hydel Project and shutters of over two dozen dams.
The officials reported, “Due to incessant rain, dam reservoirs and rivers are overflowing, sections of highways have collapsed and hundreds of homes have been swept away in severe flooding in more than half of Kerala. Five columns of Army have been deployed in the state’s seven severely-hit northern districts, out of Kerala’s 14, to help evacuate people and to build makeshift bridges even as the Indian Navy’s southern command launched ‘Operation Madad.’Navy’s southern command was put on alert after the water level in Periyar river rose amid concern that parts of Wellington Island in Kochi could be inundated. Almost all 40-odd rivers in the state are in space”.
At least 50 tourists, including 24 foreigners, stranded at the Plum Judy resort at Munnar since Wednesday were rescued and taken to safer places, state Tourism minister KadakampallySurendran said.
Army soldiers were building small bridges to evacuate people stranded at various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad. A red alert was issued for Idukki and its adjoining districts in view of the possibility of release of more water from the Idukki reservoir.
Two more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, the biggest arch dam in Asia, were also lifted. The water level had crossed the maximum storage capacity of reservoirs of 24 out of the state’s 58 days, forcing officials to release the water by opening the sluice gates, including three of the Idukki reservoirs. People living downstream of Periyar river in Kochi, and Cheruthoni river in Idukki have been warned of a possibility of inundation of banks.