Death toll touches 29, red alert in 8 districts

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A team sent by the Central government is also visiting flood-affected areas in Kerala.

The death toll in the landslides and flash floods triggered by the torrential rains stands at 29.

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. Yes, the two leaders with no hesitation engaged in helicopter surveillance together around the district of Idukki.

The water level at the Idukki dam was now at 2,401 feet after it came down on Friday night as the intensity of the rains decreased. By 2:15 pm today, all five shutters of the Idukki dam have been opened.

"If the rain continues, the other shutters will also be opened".

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The Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are working on evacuation and relief operations.

The Indian Navy has put on alert its Southern Naval Command in view of the rising water level in the Periyar river and a possible inundation of parts of Wellingdon Island surrounded by the backwaters of Kochi. It is the first time in the history that all the five shutters of Idukki dam have been raised.

A popular tourist destination, Kerala has annual monsoons, but the army drafted for rescue efforts after two days of rain that forced authorities to open the shutters of 24 reservoirs to drain the water.

A 47-year-old man drawing water was killed when the well caved in due to heavy rain at Palavila near Pirappancode on Friday morning.

The water level will rise in downstream districts with the released excess water from the dams reaching there. Some houses on the banks of the river were flooded. Around 2000 residents were moved to relief camps. Relief camps were opened at Keerithodu and Murikkassery near Cheruthoni. Around 500 cubic metres per second (cumecs) of water was initially discharged, which was then gradually increased to 600 and 700 cumecs before settling at 600 cumecs around noon. As the water level in the dam has touched 2401 feet, more water has to be released to avoid overflowing.

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The Cheruthoni bridge continued to be submerged.

A Red alert has been sound in Waynad district, which has received 39.87 cm rains in the last two days, causing severe damage, according to district administration sources.

Father Abhilash Chirambikkunnel, an official of Thamaraserry Diocese, said officials were providing schools and other church institutions to accommodate people in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. This opening of gates of the Idukki dam has happened after 26 years.

The IMD has further warned of thunderstorms in the Idukki, Wayanad and Pathanamthitta districts. The road to Kakkayam dam site in Kozhikode was cut off after the connecting road was washed away in the floods, reports the Hindu.

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