Kerala flooding: 70 stranded at Munnar resort, army deployed

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

Heavy rains and landslides have resulted in 20 deaths across Kerala on Thursday. "Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods", said the advisory, as reported by The Hindu.

Due to heavy rainfall, the water level reached an alarming level and state authorities opened the Idukki dam for the first time in 26 years.

Incessant rains have already swelled the level of water to nearly full capacity at two dams, prompting authorities to discharge huge volumes of water at one of them. 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.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed five An-32 transport aircraft, two Mi-17 V5 helicopters and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) for rescue and relief operations in the rain-devastated parts of Kerala.

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

Earlier, union home minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour that the central government was aware of the crisis in Kerala and it was ready to provide any assistance needed by the state.

Two NDRF teams have been sought from the Centre for north Kerala. The last time the dam shutters were opened in the year 1992.

Rains continued to batter Kerala on August 9.

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People living downstream of Periyar river in Kochi, and Cheruthoni river in Idukki have been warned of a possibility of inundation of banks.

Rino of Manaykkaparambil house, Panickankudy was killed in a landslip which occurred near the premises of his house on Friday.

All four shutters of the Idamalayar dam were also opened.

Shibu, a relief official told UCANEWS on Friday that almost 200 army soldiers joined rescue workers in the worst-hit Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad areas.

In what has come as slight relief for the people of Kerala, the water levels at the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki has decreased by half a feet on Saturday morning.

According to informed sources, if the water level in the dam comes down to 2,400 feet, it was likely to bring down the outflow through the five shutters as well - to around 5,00,000 litres per second. "At least 4,000 people living in low-lying areas have been evacuated to relief camps". Of the five gates in the dam, one was opened on Thursday for a trial run and three on Friday morning.

The National Disaster Relief Force and the armed forces are helping in rescue and relief operations, they added.

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