Kerala floods: Eight columns of Army deployed for rescue operations

Howard TerryAug 11, 2018

As flooding and landslides continue to cause havoc in southern India state of Kerala, Catholic Church officials are working overtime to rehabilitate the affected people, mostly village farmers who have been displaced or have lost their homes and crops.

A view of a residential area following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Kodencheri in Kozhikode district of Kerala.

The army, which has been deployed in the flood-hit areas in Kerala, will be evacuating the tourists using helicopters.

At least 58 people were killed by flooding and house collapses in northern Uttar Pradesh state two weeks ago. State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that this is probably unprecedented, and described the situation as "very grave".

Looking at the heavy rain and the dams being opened Kochi airport has been shut down for arrivals amid fears that water will enter the airport area. As many as 24 reservoirs across the state have been opened because of the heavy downpours and rising water levels.

Following which the District Collector has imposed a ban on heavy goods vehicles in Idukki till situation get better in the state.

The situation is likely to worsen over the coming two days, according to K. Santhosh, Kerala director of the Indian Meteorological Department.

Friday will be critical as the government has opened Idukki-Cheruthoni dam in Idukki district, which received 100mm rainfall in last 24 hours, as per local reports. On Friday, rains continued to pound the hilly district of Idukki, even though the intensity of showers reduced in the rest of the state.

"People living in the downstream areas of these dams must be cautious".

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.

As the water level in the dam has touched 2401 feet, more water has to be released to avoid overflowing.

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.

"Despite that opening, there has been a steady inflow and now the water level in the dam stands at 2,401 metres". Out of the four shutters, only the second and third one has been kept open by one metre each while the first and fourth shutters has been closed reducing the spillway discharge by 200 cumecs. In the midst of disaster caused by rains, a man in a heroic effort rescued a child just minutes before the Cheruthoni Bridge went down.

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