The death toll in Kerala due to heavy rains and landslides rose to 27, forcing authorities to open all five sluice gates of the Idukki reservoir Friday to release excess water. Gushing water from the dam inundated many areas downstream although human casualty was restricted to an extent due to good planning, a senior revenue official said. Shutters of 24 dams in the state have now been opened.
Considering the rain situation, all educational institutions including professional colleges in Kothamangalam, Kunnathunad, Aluva and Paravur taluks of Ernakulam district have been given a holiday today. More than 10,000 people have been shifted to 157 relief camps across the state in the last two days, the government said.
The army, navy, air force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are already engaged in rescue and relief operations in the worst affected districts. North Kerala’s Wayanad district was completely cut off by landslides and the army personnel were pressed into service to restore road network in the hill district.
On Thursday evening, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced a contribution of Rs 5 crore to Kerala to help in relief operations. The chief minister advised people not to panic as the government had made all arrangements to deal with any eventuality. “There is no need to panic. All the safety requirements to be followed for opening the dam have been taken. Since the water level may rise in the river, people living on the banks should take precaution,” Vijayan said in a Facebook post.