Church in India's Kerala state aiding people affected by rains, floods, landslides

Arturo Kim
August 11, 2018

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which maintains the Idukki dam, issued the red alert saying the shutters of the reservoir would be opened at 6 am tomorrow and asked people living downstream to be "extremely vigilant".

He said the navy has made preparations to meet any situation arising out of possible inundation of the island, said to be the largest artificial island in India, following opening of shutters of three dams of Cheruthoni, Idamalayar and Kakki. "But we will ensure that people in Palakkad are provided with drinking water through tankers".

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, several are missing, with incessant rains for more than 48 hours in some areas inundating hectares of low-lying land, authorities said.

The mountainous region of Idukki district in Kerala was put on high alert for landslides.

The casualty in Idukki district included five members of a family in Adimali town. Three other people are missing. Those residing in areas prone to landslips must move to relief camps set up at the district headquarters, the government said. Tourists have been barred from entering the district as roads caved in at many places, reported PTI.

As heavy rains continued to lash various parts of the southern state, five more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, were opened today releasing 7 lakh litres of water per second as the level touched around 2,401.5 feet. Earlier, the United States had issued an advisory, asking its citizens not to visit Kerala because of the flash floods.

CPI (M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan directed party workers to join relief operations in the flood-affected regions.

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"Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the prevailing flood situation in the state".

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He also appealed to traders, industrialists and others to make generous contributions to the Puducherry Chief Minister Relief Fund which would be sent to the Kerala government for relief works.

Union minister KJ Alphons on Thursday meeting said that "it is the biggest rain we had in last 50 years".

Two NDRF teams have been sought from the Centre for north Kerala.

The Army and National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in affected areas in Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Malappuram districts to assist the civil administration in the rescue operations, officials said. In 2018 so far, 155 people have died in the state.

The IMD has further warned of thunderstorms in the Idukki, Wayanad and Pathanamthitta districts.

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