27 dead as heavy rains trigger landslides and flash floods in Kerala


Rains, landslides kill 24, displace thousands in India's Kerala state

A bridge on the Periyar river in the town was completely destroyed by the gushing waters from the reservoirs. The volume may be further doubled to 600 Cumecs or 6 lakh litres per seocond after reducing the release of water from Idamalayar dam.

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. The state has sought six more NDRF teams to be deployed, said the Chief Minister.

As heavy rains continued to lash various parts of Kerala, two more shutters of the Cheruthoni Dam, part of the Idukki Reservoir, were opened today as the water level touched 2,401 feet. Red alert was issued to make necessary preparations for the authorities for evacuation of people in vulnerable areas in case of a water surge.

All four shutters of the Idamalayar dam were also opened. Army, Navy, Police and Fire Force are active in rescue efforts, the Chief Minister said. With the Cheruthoni dam set to open its shutters after a span of 22 years on Friday, operations at CIAL is set to be possibly disrupted again.

Schools and colleges have declared a holiday in Idukki, Kollam and some other districts due to the rains.

Cochin International Airport released a statement and said that they have reviewed the situation and operational area of the airport has not been affected.

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The administration has been put on high-alert.

Earlier State Power Minister M.M. Mani, who hails from Idukki, said: "Things are pretty bad and I have visited the affected areas on Thursday morning".

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

Landslips occurred at many places in Wayanad and Malappuram too. The operations, however, resumed later.

In addition to a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from Chennai, Army personnel and men from Defence Security Corps from Kannur have landed in the district for relief and rescue operations.

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