At least 22 people are reported to have died in heavy rains that affected a large part of Kerala over the last 24 hours. The worst affected district was Idukki, where at least 11 people were reportedly killed. This included five members of the same family after their house caved in due to a mudslide.
The other five victims were from Malappuram district who were washed away by the waters of the Chaliyar river that has increased to its highest levels since 1994, reported IANS. Three reportedly died in Wayanad, two in Kannur and one in Kozhikode.
State Power Minister MN Mani, who hails from Idukki, said, “Things are pretty bad and I have visited the affected areas and on Thursday morning, the shutters of the Idamalyar dam was opened. We will open one shutter of the Idukki dam also…”
The Idukki dam’s shutter was last opened in 1992. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held an emergency meeting here to assess the situation.
Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force, comprising 45 personnel each, have left Chennai for Kerala to assist the rescue and relief operations., said a report by PTI.
An Inter-Ministerial Central Team of the central government is also visiting flood-affected areas in Kerala, while Army troops are being mobilised from Bengaluru for deployment in the rain-battered southern state.
With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost their maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in Kerala have been opened to drain out excess water.