26 Dead In Kerala Rain; ''Biggest In 50 Years,'' Says Minister

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Heavy rain continued overnight in many parts of Kerala with the army, the navy, the air force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) working on evacuation and relief operations. A third red alert was issued for the Idukki water reservoir, the gates of which was opened yesterday after 26 years. The weather office has warned of heavy rain today in several other districts. 

 

Schools and colleges are closed today in in Idukki, Wayanad, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta districts.

Two more shutters of  one the dams of the Idukki reservoir have been opened after the water level crossed 2,400 feet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan yesterday and offered all possible assistance to those affected. Union Minister KJ Alphons, who is from Kerala, said this is the biggest spell of rain the state has witnessed in five decades."It is the biggest rain we had in 50 years," he was quoted by news agency ANI.

The teams of the NDRF are involved in the relief operations. 

There have been no fresh reports of flooding and landslides in Idukki. 

The United States consulate in Chennai issued a travel alert and advised the US citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flashfloods.

The inundation has prompted the authorities to open the shutters of Cheruthoni dam on Idukki reservoir for the first time in 26 years as the water level inches close to full capacity. In an unprecedented manner, 22 dams have been opened over the last few weeks due to the rising water levels. 

Schools and colleges will remain closed in Kozhikode, Wayanad, Palakkad and parts of Idukki, Malappuram and Kollam districts. As heavy rain is expected in the next 24 hours, the annual Nehru boat race in Alappuzha has also been postponed.

On Wednesday, the Kochi airport suspended all arrivals at the international and domestic terminals for two hours fearing flooding of the runway. 

"The last time I saw such heavy rain in Idukki was about 32 years ago. Everyone is scared." a resident of Idukki told NDTV. Despite the downpour, bus services are on Idukki.

Highlights

  1. Schools and colleges closed in several districts in Kerala

  2. PM Modi spoke to Kerala Chief Minister and offered all help

  3. Two more shutters of Cheruthoni dam were opened to control water

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