Kerala Reels Under Flood Fury, 45 Dead
Torrential rains continued to wreak havoc in many parts of flood-ravaged Kerala even as authorities shut down flight operations from Cochin international airport for four days after flood water submerged the runway.
Heavy rain, landslides and floods have claimed around 45 lives so far. For the first time in history, the state has opened 35 of its 39 dams. Meanwhile, operations at Cochin International Airport have been suspended till 2 pm on Saturday due to flooding in and around the airport. A red alert has been issued in 12 districts of the state.
Spelling more trouble for Kerala, the Tamil Nadu government opened the sluice gates of the Mullaperiyar dam at 2.30 am on Wednesday to release excess water from the reservoir. Despite this, the water level touched 142 feet, its capacity, a little after noon on Wednesday. Authorities said water will also be released via its slipways. The water will flow down to the Idukki reservoir, which is already brimming with a storage of 2,398 feet — its maximum capacity if 2,403 feet.
Arial view of Kerala Flood
Rescue operations are underway across the state, and authorities are shifting people to relief camps. Residents of Manjumala, Kumily, Periyar, Upputhura and Ayyapankovil are being relocated, while the government has advised those living close to Periyar river in Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur to move to relief camps.
Army Jawans helping local villagers
200 killed in Kerala rains since May
A senior official with the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, Sekhar Lukose Kuriakose, told Reuters the seasonal rains have killed more than 200 people in the state since May and displaced many.