A red alert has been sounded in 12 of the 14 districts. The death toll in Kerala has climbed to 67 with rain fury claiming 25 more lives today. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has confirmed more than 1.5 lakh people have been lodged in relief across the state, he said, adding that the heavy rains would continue for some more days, which will further worsen the situation.
Vijayan called an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation. For the first time in history, the state has opened 35 of its 39 dams.‘We’re witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala. Almost all dams are opened. Most of our water treatment plants are submerged, motors are damaged. We’re keeping all this in mind but our priority is to get drinking water to the people,’ the Chief Minister said after the meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Vijayan and assured all the help from the Centre. Four teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been airlifted from Pune Airport to Kerala for rescue operations.They have full-wave rectified (FWR) equipment and communication equipment with them.
Spelling more trouble for Kerala, the Tamil Nadu government opened the sluice gates of the Mullaperiyar dam at 2.30 am today to release excess water from the reservoir. Despite this, the water level touched 142 feet, its capacity, a little after in the noon. 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.
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.