Kerala Floods LIVE: Army Evacuates Tourists Stranded in Munnar, Red Alert Issued in 11 Districts

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More than 50 tourists, including 24 from abroad, who were stranded in Idukki district of Kerala for the past two days as the road leading to their resort in Munnar was damaged in a landslide have been rescued by the Army even as non-stop rain continues to pound the coastal state. A red alert has been issued in Wayanad, Idukki, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam in view of the possibility of release of more water from the Idukki reservoir. The entry of tourists to the high-range Idukki district was stopped after roads caved in at many places. Nine columns of Army have been deployed in the state since last night and small bridges have been constructed to evacuate people stranded at various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad. Five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki reservoir have been opened as rains show no sign of letting up, which may push up the level of water in Periyar and Cheruthoni rivers and complicate rescue efforts. 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. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will undertake an aerial survey of the rain-hit areas on Sunday and has sent his deputy Kiren Rijiju to take stock of the situation on ground.

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