Flood fury continues; all 5 Idukki dam  shutters opened

Flood fury continues; all 5 Idukki dam shutters opened

Gireesh Balan

Rain fury continued unabated across Kerala on Friday, taking the death toll to 28. For the first time all five shutters of Idukki dam were opened by afternoon, releasing 7.5 lakh litres per second, which has spread havoc along its course to the the Periyar and finally to the Arabian Sea. Apart from Idukki dam, the other 23 dams across the state have also been opened to drain out excess water.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and promised all help to the State. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is to visit Kerala on Sunday and review things. "Spoke to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the preavailing flood situation in the state. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government. The relief and rescue operations are going on. MHA is closely monitoring the flood situation," Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted. Pinarayi is to make an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas tomorrow.

Army, Navy and other Central para military forces have been pressed into service and have taken over rescue and precautionary operations. More than 25,000 people were shifted to shelter camps in the State.

Heavy rain in the hilly terrains resulted in huge water flow to the dams. Authorities are expected to raise the water discharge from. Idukki dam to 8.5 lakh litres per second. The water level in the dam marginally fell by evening.

Fire and disaster management forces recovered a body each from Malappuram and Idukki districts,
Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, earlier in the day reviewed the arrangements as water from the dam was expected to reach Aluva by evening.

He said the Government had taken all measures to provide food to those affected and those who were shifted to relief camps. ‘’If the food distribution by the Civil Supplies Corporation was insufficient, the government will look into arrange food from outside also,’’ he said, adding that food would provide to both those who are in relief camps as well as those who were not moved to relief camps.

There were no crisis and the government was monitoring the situation and also taking all measures for the safety of the public, he added. Electricity Minister M M Mani said the government had taken all measures for the safety of people living in low lying areas, which was flooded due to the release of water from the reservoirs.

Separately, in view of heavy rain, red alert was declared in six districts - Malappuram, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kannur, Palakkad and idukki. Forecast was that heavy rain in State would continue for the next 48 hours.