Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Flash floods kill 27 in south India, prompting USA travel alert

Flash floods kill 27 in south India, prompting USA travel alert

The Indian army has been roped in for rescue efforts after authorities were forced to open the shutters of 24 reservoirs to drain out the excess water. The rescue worker who saved the child is now being hailed by the social media users.

Earlier on Friday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reviewed the flood situation and relief works being undertaken by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the NDRF. The third-day continuous rain in the state has aggravated the flood situation with more than 26 deaths reported from the state so far. The district administration has sought the support of the National Disaster Response Force following multiple incidents of landslips in the rural areas of Kozhikode.

The flood situation caused by the incessant rain and the opening of the Idukki-Cheruthoni dam shutters is affecting the functioning of banks too.

The fifth and last shutter has been opened as well, the first time ever since the Idukki came into existence in the mid-1970s.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh will make an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas on Sunday.

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Speaking to ANI, Idukki district collector Jeevan Kumar assured that they have safely shifted people to the relief camps set up in Munnar and several other nearby districts where the water level is comparatively low. So far, 26 people have been killed, including 11 due to landslides in high-range Idukki yesterday, as rain continued to pound the southern state. Officials said that over 54,000 people are now housed in around 500 relief camps across the state. "Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods", PTI quoted the USA advisory as saying.

On Thursday, Kochi Airport halted its arrival operations for few hours in view of possible inundation in the airport area, following a rise in water level of the Periyar river. An Inter-ministerial Central team is also visiting the flood-affected area and the Army support is being mobilized from Bengaluru, the statement said.

The authorities opened the gates of the Idamalayar dam on the morning of August 9 as the water breached its maximum height of 169 meters.

He also said that complete attention should now focus on rehabilitating people living in the low lying areas of Ernakulam district should it become necessary due to the water released from the Idukki dam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he has offered Vijayan all possible assistance. "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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