Kerala government says flood situation grave, calls in army

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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. At present, over 50,000 people are living in relief camps.

The South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state since August 8.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan have set out from the State capital to survey the flood-ravaged parts of the State.

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.

Meanwhile, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today announced a relief assistance of Rs 1 crore to the Kerala government to tackle the situation arising out of floods.

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Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had described the flood situation in the state as "very grim" and it was for the first time in the history of the state that 24 dams had been opened at a time following the water level reaching maximum capacity. "Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods", said the advisory, as reported by The Hindu.

The situation in Ernakulam district of Kerala is under control, as the water level in Periyar river has not reached risky level as feared.

At least 30 people were killed, almost 54,000 left homeless while dams and rivers overflowed, parts of highways collapsed, and homes were swept away in severe flooding across the state as the heavy downpour continued for the third day on Friday. Only one shutter of the dam was opened releasing 82 cusecs of water.

Latest visuals of Periyar river.

Army is building small bridges to evacuate those stranded at various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad.

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Naval helicopters are also being deployed to ferry divers, power tools, axes and relief material to flooded areas to augment ongoing relief operations, it said.

The army has been roped in for rescue efforts in Kerala after two days of heavy rain drove authorities to open the shutters of 27 reservoirs to drain out the excess water.

The arrival operations were resumed from 3.05 pm this evening, a spokesperson of the airport said. One such affected district is Palakkad, as water released from the Malampuzha dam has inundated many parts and several rivers are overflowing.

Due to the increase in the water level at Idukki dam, "it is essential to release water three times (more) than what was being released now", Vijayan said, adding that this will lead to rise in the water levels of Periyar river and its tributaries.

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