Kerala rains | Live updates: Rajnath Singh to survey flood-affected areas on Sunday

A bird's eye view of Aluva in Ernakulam as monitored by the Indian Coastguard

A bird's eye view of Aluva in Ernakulam as monitored by the Indian Coastguard   | Photo Credit: Defence PRO

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Flash floods and landslips triggered by the Southwest monsoon claim 26 lives.

Rescue operations continue after flash floods and landslips triggered by the Southwest monsoon claimed 26 lives in Kerala. As many as 11 people were reported dead in Idukki district, six in Malappuram, two in Kozhikode and one in Wayanad.

Rescue teams, including military and NDRF personnel sifted through soil and rubble in an attempt to save victims of landslips and authorities began evacuation of families as swollen rivers breached banks. Emergency services began efforts to restore the damaged road to a resort at Pallivasal following reports that a group of tourists, including foreigners, were trapped in the building.

 

Rajnath Singh to survey flood-affected areas

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to survey the flood-affected areas in Kerala on August 12. Earlier in the day, the Home Minister had assured the Kerala government of all possible help in rescue and relief operations in the wake of rains and floods.

 

 

Control room at Aluva Headworks

A control room has started functioning at Aluva Headworks to co-ordinate the activities of Kerala Water Authority to combat the rising levels and turbidity in River Periyar. The control room is functional 24x7 from 5pm on Friday on 9496033311. 

Meanwhile, the water level in Idamalayar dam has reduced 169.06 ft, which is close to the full reservoir level of 169 ft. 

 

6500 families to be evacuated

The Ernakulam district administration is gearing up to evacuate more than 6500 families to safer places in anticipation of a flood situation like in 2013 following the decision to raise the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam to increase the discharge of excess water from the Idukki reservoir.

More than 17000 people across the State have been displaced by the floods over a period of less than 48 hours. As many as 260 relief camps have been opened at various locations to accommodate the flood victims. 

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U.S. issues advisory to citizens visiting Kerala

United States of America has asked citizens to “avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods”.

In the weather alert issued by the U.S. State Department (Consular Affairs) through its Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates at Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata, the U.S. citizens in who are currently in Kerala have been asked to be “fully aware of the surroundings and to monitor local media for weather updates.”

 

 

Aluva 'vavu bali' under uncertainity

The uncertainty over the possible water level rise in Periyar has put the Aluva Siva Temple administrative authorities in a quandary over the organisation of 'vavu bali' to propitiate ancestors. They have drawn up a crisis management plan that could be put into action within a notice of three hours.

The Aluva manappuram and the Shiva temple in Aluva are under water after the Edamalayar dam shutters were opened to let out excess water.

The Aluva manappuram and the Shiva temple in Aluva are under water after the Edamalayar dam shutters were opened to let out excess water.   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

 

As of now, lighting arrangement has been completed, while questions remain over where to perform the ceremony as the 'bali mandapam' at Manappuram remains submerged. Also, there is no clarity as to where to put up the barricade as rising water can play spoilsport.

“We hope to conduct the function along the Aluva Manappuram Road if permitted by the government authorities. But all depends on the water level,” said temple administrator D. Jayakumar.

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Army, Navy and Coast Guard teams involved in relief ops

Eight columns of army, four navy teams and three Coast Guard teams are carrying out relief operations in different parts of the State. Adimali in Idukki has two columns of army, there are five columns in areas such as Iritty in Kannur, Thamarassery in Kozhikode and Panamaram and Vythiri in Wayanad, and another column is carrying out relief operations in Malappuram.

Meanwhile, two Navy teams each are engaged in relief work in Aluva and Wayanad, while a Coast Guard team has been deployed in Chellamattom village close to the Cochin International Airport. Tow Coast Guard teams are at Aluva — one under the District Collector and one on standby at Alapuzha.

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All shutters of Cheruthoni dam opened

All the five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam have been opened.

This follows unrelenting increase in the water level in the Idukki dam. At 1 p.m., it is at 2401.6 ft, with the hourly gross inflow recorded at 900 cumecs. Permission granted to let out 600 cusecs.

With the fifth shutter being opened, the total volume of water being released from the Idukki hydel reservoir system would go up from 3 lakh litres a second to 7 lakh litres a second.

 

 

64 camps opened in Ernakulam region to shelter 9000 people

Anticipating a drastic rise in water level in the Periyar River with an increased release at the rate of 300 cumecs of water from Cheruthoni dam in Idukki reaching the Paravur region in the next four hours, evacuation of people from areas likely to be affected is in full swing.

The administration has opened 42 camps in the region so far in which nearly 8,000 people from 1,850 families have been sheltered, according to Paravur Tehsildar M.H. Harish. In all, 64 camps have been opened in the Ernakulam region and 9,401 people have been provided shelter.

Villages such as Kunnukara, Puthenvelikkara, Varapuzha, Eloor, Kadungalloor and Chendamangalam are already affected by the floods and people in these areas have been evacuated to safety. “The rise in water level may cause flooding in Moothakunnam, Alangad and Kadungalloor villages and we have taken steps to shift more people to safer locations and camps. A 30-member army team is slated to reach Chendamangalam in the afternoon for relief operations. We have also made arrangements for supply of food and essentials to affected people,” Mr. Harish said.

The administration has also sent out medical teams and bedridden patients have been shifted to hospitals.

 

All party MPs meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Union Minister of State Alphons Kannanthanam along with all party MPs from Kerala met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and request a special relief package for Kerala floods.

All party MPs and Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam after meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh

All party MPs and Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam after meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

"Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinrayi Vijayan and discussed the prevailing flood situation in the State," wrote Mr. Singh on Twitter. "I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the State government. The relief and rescue ops are going on. MHA is closely monitoring the flood situation," he added.

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One more body recovered in Malappuram

The body of Subramanian, who had gone missing after he was caught in a landslip along with his family at Chettiyanpara near Erumamunda in Chaliyar panchayath on Wednesday night, was recovered this morning.

The bodies of five others in his family who had been buried in the landslip were recovered on Thursday.

 

 

 

Officials gear up to evacuate families ahead of increased water flow from Cheruthoni dam

When two more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam opened following heavy inflow of water into the Idukki dam on Friday after raising one shutter on Thursday.

When two more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam opened following heavy inflow of water into the Idukki dam on Friday after raising one shutter on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: H Vibhu

 

With 300 cumecs of water about to be released from Cheruthoni dam, revenue officials of Aluva taluk in Ernakulam situated along the banks of Periyar have taken emergency measures to evacuate more families from the vulnerable areas.

Already, nearly 1000 people from 342 families have been accommodated in 15 camps in the taluk.

Meanwhile, flight operations at Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery, continue as usual. Landing ops had to be suspended for a few hours yesterday following waterlogging on the runway.

 

Fire and Rescue Service recalls officials from training Academy

In view of the increased release of water from Cheruthoni dam, the fire and rescue department has recalled its 300-odd officers on training at the Fire Service Academy at Viyyur, Thrissur for deployment along the flood-hit areas.

They will be deployed in Idukki and Ernakulam districts, senior fire force officials said. Already, the force has deployed around 300 men armed with rescue equipment, including rubber dinghies, at all low lying areas along the banks of Periyar in Ernakulam.

R. Prasad, Director, Technical of State Fire Force Department, is undertaking a tour of the flood-hit areas in Ernakulam district. In view of release of increased water from Cheruthoni dam, Mr. Prasad will camp in Ernakulam and monitor the situation.

 

Provisions for drinking water and rations for affected

Briefing the media after a meeting at Aluva, Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan said measures would be taken to supply drinking water and rations to all people affected by the floods, and not just those sheltered in the relief camps operating in the region. In case civil supplies corporation alone could not carry out the task, procurement of food items from agencies outside of the government would be considered.

NDRF personnel engaged in rescue operations.

NDRF personnel engaged in rescue operations.   | Photo Credit: KSDMA

 

As of now, a total of 3,521 people from 1,076 families have sought shelter in 57 relief camps in Ernakulam district.

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Flood situation in the hill areas of Kannur improves

According to officials, the intensity of the rain tapered off by Friday morning and the sky was not as cloudy as it had been over the past few days. The water level in the upstream of the Valapattanam at Iritty started receding by this morning.

"The flood situation in the Iritty taluk has improved now as the water level of the Iritty river (which is the upstream of the Valapattanam river) has come down by 10 feet today," said Iritty Tahsildar K.K. Divakaran. No incident of landslip had been reported from any party of the taluk since Friday evening, he added.

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Rain expected to continue

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

Meanwhile, search and rescue operations and flood relief is in progress by Navy Seaking 42C Op Madad in Wayanad and Ernakulam post heavy rains and flash floods.

 

 

Another death in Thiruvananthapuram

In a rain-related incident, a 47-year-old man drowned to death after a portion of a well collapsed in Venjaramoodu in Thiruvananthapuram.

The police identified the deceased as Suresh Kumar of Palavila, near Pirappancode. The incident took place by around 6 a.m. when Suresh was drawing water from the well.

He accidentally fell into the well after the portion that held the pulley collapsed. Though he was rushed to a nearby hospital, his life could not be saved.

Police attributed the incident to the heavy downpour the region has witnessed for the last two days.

 

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu offer relief funds

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reviewing the flood situation in Thiruvananthapuram.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reviewing the flood situation in Thiruvananthapuram.   | Photo Credit: KSDMA

 

Earlier on Friday, Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan said that he spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Karnataka CM H. D. Kumaraswamy and shared with them the situation in the State.

 

PM Modi discussed the situation over phone and assured that Centre will offer all possible assistance, said the statement issued on CMO's Facebook page. The Karnataka government has issued ₹10 crore for disaster management and has informed that the crest gates of the Banasur reservoir has been opened as per Kerala's request.

"Discussed the situation with Kerala Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and offered all possible help from Karnataka, including medical aid, food, basic support needed for sustenance. We stand with our neighbours at this hour of need," read a statement by the Karnataka CM's office.

Earlier on Thursday, Tamil Nadu government had announced an immediate contribution of ₹5 crore towards relief operations. “As a token of the support and solidarity of the government and people of Tamil Nadu with the government and people of Kerala in their hour of need, I have ordered the immediate contribution of a sum of ₹5 crore from the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund to the Government of Kerala,” said Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

 

Ban on tourists, heavy vehicles in Idukki

Idukki district collector issued orders banning entry of tourist vehicles and heavy vehicles into the district citing the possibility of the heavy rains destroying the roads in the high ranges. Around 30 tourists, including some foreign nationals, are reported to be stranded at a resort at Pallivasal following heavy landslip in the area. Rescue work has been hampered by damage to the Kochi-Dhanushkodi road.

Earlier, the United States had issued an advisory, asking its citizens not to visit Kerala because of the flash floods. “Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslip and flash floods,” it read.

 

Two more shutters of Idukki dam opened

Two more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, forming part of the Idukki hydel reservoir system, have been opened on Friday to ease pressure of water on the reservoir.

The second and fourth shutters of the dam were opened at 7 a.m. after the water level in the Idukki dam reached the 2401ft. mark. With this, the quantity of water being released from the dam has now risen to 1,25,000 litres a second, and is likely to be increased to 3 lakh litres a second.

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Rescue and relief operations in full force

Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), comprising 45 personnel each, have left Chennai for Kerala to assist the rescue and relief operations.

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.

Tamil Nadu government announces an immediate contribution ₹5 crore from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund to Kerala government, reports Dennis S. Jesudasan.

Read our coverage of Thursday's situation here.

(Inputs from PTI)

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