Kerala rains: 26 dead, thousands evacuated amid India flooding

Kerala rains: 26 dead, thousands evacuated amid India flooding

According to the Economic Times, the water level in various dams of the state is going way over the danger mark, after which shutters of at least 24 reservoirs in Kerala have been opened to drain out excess water.

The June-September rains in Kerala state have cost 175 lives and damaged crops worth 3.42 billion rupees ($49.81 million) across 26,824 hectares (66,284 acres) since their onset on May 29, an official at the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), who did not wish to be identified, said.

At 12.30 p.m. on Thursday, the water level crossed 2,399 metres, and one of the shutters was opened after a gap of 26 years.

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.

Earlier today, a trial run began at the dam - one sluice was opened.

In the districts of Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode, a red alert has been announced till August 11.

A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has been sent to Kozhikode as the heavy rainfall caused a flood-like situation in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

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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.

Water from the dam would be let into Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers. Past year 1,200 people perished. As the water level continued to rise in the reservoir, two more shutterd were opened later. The inmates of these houses were shifted to relief camps.

Currently, Monsoon surge is active over the state of Kerala as a cyclonic circulation is seen over Southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area in the mid-levels.

The IMD has further warned of thunderstorms in the Idukki, Wayanad and Pathanamthitta districts.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, several are missing, with incessant rains for more than 48 hours in some areas inundating hectares of low-lying land, authorities said.

It has asked tourists not to go to high range areas and dam sites in the state. Now the United States of America government has advised its citizens not to visit Kerala keeping in mind the risky situation.

He, however, pointed out that there could be problem at some places in Ernakulam and its nearby areas, as the water released from the Idamalayar dam could reach these places. Offered all possible assistance to those affected. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity", the PM said in a tweet.

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