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26 dead, red alert sounded in Kerala: CM says flood situation ‘very grim’


26 dead, red alert sounded in Kerala: CM says flood situation ‘very grim’
The United States consulate in Chennai issued a travel alert and advised the US citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flash flood. (Photo: Coast Guard | Aluva Ernakulam stretch)

Kochi: The flood situation is turning grim in Kerala which has been witnessing incessant rain for the last few days. With downpour continuing unabated, two more shutters of the Cheruthoni Dam, part of the Idukki Reservoir, were opened on Friday as the water level touched 2,401 feet.

A third red alert was issued after a shutter of the Cheruthoni Dam was opened for the first time in the last 26 years on Thursday. Two more were opened at 7 am on Friday.

The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet and storage capacity is 69,268 Mcft and storage percentage is 97.61 per cent.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are conducting evacuation and relief operations.

Fire Services personnel rescue a child following a landslide, triggered by heavy rains, in Idukki, Kerala. (Photo: PTI)

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

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

The South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state since the past two days. So far, 26 people have been killed, including 11 in high range Idukki in landslips on Thursday as rain continued to pound the southern state.

Malappuram: A section of Nilambur- Karad road is seen washed away following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Malappuram in Kerala. (Photo: PTI)

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had described the flood situation in the state as “very grim” and it was for the first time in the history of the state that 24 dams had been opened at a time following the water level reaching maximum capacity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday and offered all possible assistance to those affected.

“Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the state. Offered all possible assistance to those affected. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity,” the PM said in a tweet.

The services of Army, Navy and Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have also been sought in the flood-hit areas.

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,” news agency ANI quoted KJ Alphons saying.

Malappuram: A section of Nilambur- Karad road is seen washed away following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Malappuram in Kerala. (Photo: PTI)

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had described the flood situation in the state as “very grim” and it was for the first time in the history of the state that 24 dams had been opened at a time following the water level reaching maximum capacity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday and offered all possible assistance to those affected.

“Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the state. Offered all possible assistance to those affected. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity,” the PM said in a tweet.

The services of Army, Navy and Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have also been sought in the flood-hit areas.

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,” news agency ANI quoted KJ Alphons saying.

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