Flash floods kill 37 in India’s tourist hotspot Kerala

A ravaged Kerala braces for more rains

A ravaged Kerala braces for more rains

Schools and colleges are closed in Idukki, Wayanad, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta districts.

Read Also:Kerala: Rains wreak havoc; CM Pinarayi Vijayan calls situation "very grave"; Cochin airport closes arrival operations "The Ministry of Home Affairs is closely monitoring the flood situation", a tweet from the home minister's office said.

The United States consulate in Chennai issued a travel alert and advised the U.S. citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flash flood.

According to CIAL Managing Director VJ Kurien, flight operations are normal and flood water have not affected the airport operations.

As rain continued to lash the state, officials opened the sluice gates of 24 dams on August 9, including the biggest Idukki Dam, threatening more areas with floods.

Five An-32 transport aircraft were deployed to transport National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and their equipment from Arakkonam to Calicut, an IAF spokesperson said. Till now, at least 26 people have lost their lives in the state in rain-related incidents.

Idukki has received 129.80 mm rainfall.With water levels rising in various dams and reaching nearly maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water.

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"The flood has caused large-scale damage across the state".

Water from the dam would be let into Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers. One of its shutters was opened on Thursday after a gap of 26 years.

"Since more rains are forecast, as a matter of abundant caution, it has been chose to postpone the upcoming Nehru boat race on the Punnamada lake. The new date will be announced later", he said.

This is in addition to the two diving teams on standby at Aluva for relief operations since Thursday in anticipation of flooding expected in Ernakulam and Aluva, it said.

Union Minister KJ Alphons, who is from Kerala, said this is the biggest spell of rain the state has witnessed in five decades.

Amid fears of the water from the Idukki dam spilling over, two more shutters were opened on the morning of August 10, increasing the flow of the Periyar River by 125,000 litres per second. "We will open a shutter of the Idukki dam also", Mani said.

Kerala state authorities have taken the unprecedented step of opening the gates of 25 water reservoirs to prevent potentially disastrous breaches. It would be kept open for the night. A red alert was issued for Idukki and its adjoining districts in view of the possibility of release of more water from the Idukki reservoir. He has also cancelled all his public functions till Sunday to monitor relief work.

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