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

Kerala rains,Kerala landslide,heavy rains in Kerala

An Inter-ministerial Central team is also visiting the flood-affected area and the Army support is being mobilized from Bengaluru, the statement said.

Flood water also triggered landslides at many areas in the state.

Dams and rivers overflowed, parts of highways collapsed, and homes were swept away in severe flooding in more than half of Kerala on Friday in the third day of heavy downpour that has claimed the lives of 30 people and left almost 54,000 homeless. "The very fact that the shutters of 24 dams have been opened tells us the severity of the issue", said the CM.

The South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state since the past two days. The opening of the first two shutters was preponed by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) from 6 am to 5 am due to increasing water level.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed five An-32 transport aircraft, two Mi-17 V5 helicopters and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) for rescue and relief operations in the rain-devastated parts of Kerala.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh will make an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas on Sunday. Educational institutions have declared a holiday in Idukki, Kollam and some other districts due to the rains.

"The opening of the dams has caused anxiety among people living on the banks of the Periyar River". Five people of a family were killed in a landslide in Idukki.

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State Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekheran, who is camping in Ernakulam and coordinating the activities said things were under control as the five teams of the Army were taking part in the damage control exercises in Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram. A decision will be taken only after reviewing the flood situation downstream.

The water level in the Idukki dam stood at 2,399.58 feet (in relation to mean sea level) at 4.30 pm today against the full reservoir level of 2,403 feet, prompting the authorities to issue the red alert, officials said.

One shutter was opened Friday yesterday after a gap of 26 years.

The personnel of Army, Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been carrying rescue and relief operations in the flood-hit areas. Officials said that over 54,000 people are now housed in around 500 relief camps across the state.

It has also been reported that the intensity of the flow of water into the dam has also reduced on Saturday morning.

The Idukki dam's waters are expected to reach densely populated urban pockets like Ernakulam and Aluva, where Kochi airport lies, by noon.

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