Torrential rains caused by a vigorous southwestern monsoon have caused flooding and landslides in various parts of the southern state of Kerala. As a result, at least 22 people have died in the last 24 hours. 11 of these victims were from Idukki district, while five were from Malappuram, three from Wayanad, two from Kannur and one from Kozhikode.
Incessant rainfall has caused the water levels to rise in various dams across the state. In many of these dams, the levels have soared upto their maximum capacity. As a result, gates of 24 reservoirs across Kerala have been opened to prevent the dams from bursting. These include the Idukki reservoir, Cheruthoni dam and Malampuzha dam. Officials have warned families living along the bank of Periyar river to remain extra cautious.
Torrential rain leaves trail of destruction across #Kerala— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) August 9, 2018
>Death toll touches 22
>Shutters of 24 reservoirs opened, including Idukki dam
>CM Vijayan said the flood situation was "very grim"
(Picture credit: PTI, AP) pic.twitter.com/m8TfRHuYlD
The heavy rainfall has also caused landslide in some districts including Wayanad, which has been cut off from the rest of the state. Electricity and water supply has been disrupted in many areas. The floods have also submerged many important highways, roads and railway tracks. People are being evacuated using rafts.
Rescue operations done so far in Kerala
Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan organized an emergency meeting with key officials to gauge the seriousness of the situation and launch relief measures. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has requested for help from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard as well as central government.
Both the state and central governments have deployed rigorous disaster management techniques to combat the flood situation in Kerala. A seven member Inter-Ministerial Central Team is visiting affected areas of the state. Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force has deployed four teams, comprising 49 personnel each, to assist in the rescue and relief operations. Army troops from Bengaluru are also getting prepared for deployment in the flood-ridden areas of Kerala.
SNC launches #OpMadad at Wayanad for c/o Search & Rescue operations in flooded low lying areas of Ernakulam & Idukki Districts due to opening of Cheruthoni/Idukki Dam shutters following heavy rains in the catchment areas on trial basis for 4h from 12.30 pm onwards @nsitharaman pic.twitter.com/6Cwqfsh6MT— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) August 9, 2018