Kerala floods: 29 dead, 54,000 homesless; CM conducts aerial survey

Kerala floods: 29 dead, 54,000 homesless; CM conducts aerial survey

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Kochi on Sunday and visit the flood affected regions. As many as 24 reservoirs across the state have been opened because of the heavy downpours and rising water levels.

Shibu, a relief official told UCANEWS on Friday that almost 200 army soldiers joined rescue workers in the worst-hit Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad areas.

Those forced from their homes "have moved to 350 relief camps across the state", an official at the Kerala State Disaster Management control room told AFP. The South-West monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala, resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state for the last two days.

"Expressing shock over the death of 22 persons due to flood in Kerala, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that Government of Karnataka would extend every possible support for flood relief in Kerala", read an official statement. Vijayan has already instructed officials to alert the people living in downstream areas and to relocate those living in vulnerable areas.

"Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the prevailing flood situation in the state".

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.

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The Cheruthoni Dam, part of Idukki reservoir, the largest arch dam in Asia was opened after 26 years.

Due to inclement weather, the chief minister's helicopter could not land at Kattapana in Idukki, where he had called a meeting to review the situation in the backdrop of the opening of five shutters of Idukki Dam, government sources said.

Five columns of the Army have been deployed in the state's seven severely-hit northern districts to help evacuate people, and to build makeshift bridges. The river is now in full spate.

The Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery resumed flight operations after it was halted as a precautionary measure after the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were opened. "No cancellation of services so far", an airport spokesperson said. Latest visuals of swollen Periyar river.

In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after 4 shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened yesterday. Travellers have also been asked to limit movement at night in hilly and high-range areas, particularly between 7 pm and 7 am.

In Palakkad district, the flood waters have started receding today as the quantity of water being released from Malampuzha dam has been reduced and Palakkad town is limping back to normal.

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