Flood alert in Tamil Nadu, Kerala remains grim

Rains, landslides kill 24, displace thousands in India's Kerala state

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.

The team would conduct aerial survey of the entire eastern stretch of the State and will visit the worst-hit areas in Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Ernakulam.

Those forced from their homes "have moved to 350 relief camps across the state", an official at the Kerala State Disaster Management control room told AFP.

Northern and central Kerala have been battered by heavy rains of the Southwest monsoon since August 8, which has left 29 people dead, including three today.

"Expressing shock over the death of 22 persons due to flood in Kerala, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that Government of Karnataka would extend every possible support for flood relief in Kerala", read an official statement. The KSDMA has issued an alert in the nearby areas and has asked people not to panic.

This morning, 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. Adding more problem is the overflowing water from dams that will increase the range of damage. Some visuals from flood-affected areas of the coastal state.

With the shutters lifted, water in Periyar, the second largest river in the state, rose to unsafe levels.

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As heavy rains continued to lash various parts of Kerala, two more shutters of the Cheruthoni Dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, were opened today as the water level touched 2,401 feet. "Thus, there is a need to open the shutters of many dams", the chief minister said. Latest visuals of swollen Periyar river.

Two teams with Gemini boats commenced rescue operations at Kalpetta, Wayanad and at Panmarum (13 kilometres south of Mananthavady), where they evacuated 55 stranded people till 12 noon on Friday, a defence press release said.

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.

With water level continuing to rise in the Idukki reservoir in Kerala, the fifth shutter of Idukki dam was lifted on Friday. "No cancellation of services so far", an airport spokesperson said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the Chief Minister yesterday in the wake of heavy rains and floods in the state, and offered all possible assistance to those affected.

Amid fears of the water from the Idukki dam spilling over, two more shutters were opened on the morning of August 10, increasing the flow of the Periyar River by 125,000 litres per second.

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