Heavy rains, landslides kill 25 in India

Heavy rains, landslides kill 25 in India

Heavy rains, landslides kill 25 in India

"The flood has caused large-scale damage across the state".

Dam reservoirs and rivers overflowed, sections of highways collapsed and homes were swept away in severe flooding in more than half of Kerala, after days of incessant rains left almost 54,000 people homeless and killed at least 29, officials said.

Heavy and tourist vehicles have been banned in Idukki. Many areas are submerged after authorities opened the sluice gates of an overflowing Idamalayar dam.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is visiting the flood affected areas of Idukki, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram. The shutters of a total of 24 dams, including the Cheruthoni dam on Idukki reservoir, have been opened this monsoon to drain out excess water from the catchment areas. The Kerala Disaster Management Authority has issued a red alert in Wayanad district till August 14, according to Mathrubhumi. The relief and rescue ops are going on. "People living in downstream areas of these dams must be cautious", a tweet by the Chief Minister's Office said later.

At least 50 tourists, including 24 foreigners, stranded at the Plum Judy resort at Munnar since Wednesday were rescued and taken to safer places, state Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said.

Earlier this morning, Vijayan, accompanied by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, State Forest Minister P Raju, Chief Secretary Tom Jose and Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behra, took off in a helicopter from Thiruvananthapuram to survey the worst affected districts.

Union minister Alphons Kannamthanam said he discussed the flood situation in Kerala with Home Minister Rajnath Singh this morning. For the first time in the last 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni dam was opened yesterday and two more were opened at 7 am.

In view of this, water level in the Periyar river and its tributaries will rise.

"Wetland refilling, encroachment and unauthorized construction in river banks and conversion of paddy fields have affected the flow of water, leading to stagnation and flash floods", another official at KSDMA said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, Kochi Airport in a statement said flight operations are continuing uninterrupted and there has been no cancellations. "No cancellation of services so far", an airport spokesperson said.

Vijayan said the state would submit a detailed memorandum to the Centre seeking financial assistance for taking up relief works.

Rajesh also went on to add that the main area to be affected by the shortage of power supply is the Palakkad town area because unlike the outskirts, the town does not have many facilities for water to subside.

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