Heavy rains, landslides kill 25 in India

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

Kerala Monsoon: Hefty rains lash Wayanad, Palakkad, Punalur, Alappuzha

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited the flood-affected areas of Idukki, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram on Saturday to monitor the flood situation, along with Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala in the Kerala Assembly. The majority of the deaths happened in the first 36 hours when the downpour caused flash floods and landslides. The South-West monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala, resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state for the last two days.

"The rains have slowed down in and around the Idukki dam since last night and hence the water level in the dam has also come down", State Power Minister M.M. Mani said.

In addition to this, the shutters of 22 reservoirs in Kerala has been opened up due tothe increasiong water levels in the state due to rain. The Southern Naval Command at Kochi has rescued people stranded in the flood-hit areas, as part of the Indian Navy's "Operation Madad" for the rain and landslide-ravaged state.

Speaking to ANI, Idukki district collector Jeevan Kumar assured that they have safely shifted people to the relief camps set up in Munnar and several other nearby districts where the water level is comparatively low.

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Union minister Alphons Kannamthanam said he discussed the flood situation in Kerala with Home Minister Rajnath Singh this morning.

The situation is likely to worsen over the coming two days, according to K. Santhosh, Kerala director of the Indian Meteorological Department. Two more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, the biggest arch dam in Asia, were also lifted.

Kerala remains on the edge as torrential rain continues to wreck havoc, rising death toll to 26 on Friday.

An alert has been issued to people living in the downstream areas and on the banks of Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers. The number of people killed in rain-induced incidents has also increased to 26. Kochi Airport statement in a statement said: "Operations go on smoothly".

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The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet and storage capacity is 69,268 Mcft and storage percentage is 97.61 per cent.

The authorities opened the gates of the Idamalayar dam on the morning of August 9 as the water breached its maximum height of 169 meters.

Due to heavy rains and resultant floods in Kozhikode and Waynad districts, a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has been moved to Kozhikode.

As the water level in the dam has touched 2401 feet, more water has to be released to avoid overflowing. "At least 4,000 people living in low-lying areas have been evacuated to relief camps".

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