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

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

The Kakkayam dam site in Kozhikode was cut off after the approach road was washed away in the floods.

The mountainous region of Idukki district in Kerala was put on high alert for landslides. Heavy crop and property damage have been reported in the district as storm waters inundated the area.

Now, as per weathermen at Skymet Weather, moderate to heavy rains are expected to continue over the state of Kerala for another 24 hours, thereafter, rain intensity will reduce significantly, however, on and off rains will continue.

All educational institutions including professional colleges in Kothamangalam, Kunnathunad, Aluva and Paravur taluks of Ernakulam district have declared a holiday for today.

The Idukki District Collector imposed a ban on tourism activities and the movement of heavy goods vehicles till further notice. Of the 70 tourists, 20 are believed to be foreigners.

India's home minister Rajnath Singh, who is in touch with Vijayan plans to visit the flood affected areas of the state on August 12.

In view of the devastation, the U.S. embassy Thursday advised its citizens to avoid the areas affected and constantly monitor local media for weather updates. The worsening flood situation in Kerala has forced the authorities to open all the five gates of the Idukki Hydel Project and shutters of over two dozen dams.

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Talking to reporters here after a review meeting, the chief minister said the flood situation was "very grim" and it was for the first time in the history of the state that 24 dams have been opened at a time following the water level reaching their respective maximum.

On the other hand, the Karnataka government has also issued relief funds for the state.

The situation is likely to worsen over the coming two days, according to K. Santhosh, Kerala director of the Indian Meteorological Department. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government. A year ago 1,200 people perished.

Access to many of these places are hard and is affecting the rescue operations.

Shibu, a relief official told UCANEWS on Friday that almost 200 army soldiers joined rescue workers in the worst-hit Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad areas.

"The central team is also here to assess the damages that were caused by the rains in July". State officials said a total of 53,501 people are now housed in 439 relief camps across the state. Sources from the disaster control room reportedly said while 10 people in Idukki, five in Malappuram, two in Kannur and one in Wayanad district died due to a landslide, three people in Wayanad, Palakkad, and Kozhikode district respectively were found missing.

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