This is strongest monsoon year for Kerala since 2013, says IMD

Minnie Murray
August 11, 2018

The US embassy Thursday advised its citizens to avoid the areas affected and monitor local media for weather updates.

As heavy rains continue to lash various parts of Kerala, worsening the flood situation in the state, the death toll has touched 29, following heavy floods and landslides.

Heavy and tourist vehicles have been banned in Idukki.

On Saturday, the inflow into the dam stood at 6,00,000 litres of water per second, while the outflow through the floodgates is 7.50 lakh litres per second.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which maintains the Idukki dam, issued the red alert saying the shutters of the reservoir would be opened at 6 am tomorrow and asked people living downstream to be "extremely vigilant".

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), on August 8, the state received 316 per cent more rainfall than normal.

At least 60 tourists, that included 20 foreigners as well were rescued from the Plum Judy resort in Munnar where they had been stranded since Wednesday, state Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said.

Earlier this morning, Vijayan, accompanied by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, State Forest Minister P Raju, Chief Secretary Tom Jose and Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behra, took off in a helicopter from Thiruvananthapuram to survey the worst affected districts.

Water from the dam would be let into Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers.

This is for the first time in the history that all the gates of the dam have been opened, underlying the gravity of the situation.

Union minister Alphons Kannamthanam said he discussed the flood situation in Kerala with Home Minister Rajnath Singh this morning.

"The haphazard development along the streams has affected the natural flow of rivers, which is a challenge right now", he said.

"The rains have slowed down in and around the Idukki dam since last night and hence the water level in the dam has also come down", State Power Minister MM Mani informed.

Meanwhile, Kochi Airport in a statement said flight operations are continuing uninterrupted and there has been no cancellations.

According to state disaster control room sources, 241 relief camps have been opened and 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas. "No cancellation of services so far", an airport spokesperson said. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government.

In Palakkad district, the flood waters have started receding today as the quantity of water being released from Malampuzha dam has been reduced and Palakkad town is limping back to normal.

While many politicians try to use such disasters for their own political mileage by playing blaming games and pointing fingers, Kerala's politicians ace it when it comes to joining hands together for the general good.

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