Kerala rains subside, Idukki waters recede

Glen Norman
August 11, 2018

India's home minister Rajnath Singh, who is in touch with Vijayan plans to visit the flood affected areas of the state on August 12.

With the water level rising alarmingly in the Idukki reservoir, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has opened five shutters of the Cheruthony Dam, which is part of the Idukki Dam project on Friday to release excess inflow of water owing to heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the reservoir in the past many days.

Small bridges have been constructed to evacuate stranded people in various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad areas, and rescue operations are now underway.

The Army and National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in affected areas in Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Malappuram districts to assist the civil administration in the rescue operations, officials said.

With Kerala facing an unprecedented rain havoc, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has made a personal contribution of Rs one lakh to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

The South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state since the past two days. As many as 24 reservoirs across the state have been opened because of the heavy downpours and rising water levels.

Two more shutters of Idukki Cheruthoni dam were opened at 7 am on Friday. Latest visuals of swollen Periyar river. People have to be vigilant, he said. The relief and rescue ops are going on.

"Wetland refilling, encroachment and unauthorized construction in river banks and conversion of paddy fields have affected the flow of water, leading to stagnation and flash floods", another official at KSDMA said on condition of anonymity.

"The situation is under control", he said.

The opening of the Cheruthoni dam saw people running helter-skelter to save their lives, trying to find a safe place to stay till the rains ceased and the water levels went down.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority's (NDMA) situation report, since the beginning of the monsoon season 14 districts in the state have been affected by floods comprising over 2,000 villages.

The spokesperson said three contingents (50 men each) from INS Dronacharya, Venduruthy and Naval Air station INS Garuda were ready to be deployed as and when required, besides a medical team from INHS Sanjivani.

In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after four shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened yesterday. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government.

In Palakkad district, the flood waters started receding today as the quantity of water being released from Malampuzha dam was reduced.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, several are missing, with incessant rains for more than 48 hours in some areas inundating hectares of low-lying land, authorities said.

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