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The Navy has put on alert its Southern Naval Command in view of the rising water level in Periyar river in Kerala and a possible inundation of parts of Wellingdon Island, surrounded by the backwaters of Kochi. A defence spokesperson said the Navy has made preparations to meet any situation arising out of the possible inundation of the island, said to be the largest artificial island in the country, following the opening of shutters of three dams of Cheruthoni, Idamalayar and Kakki. “We will take all necessary steps to ensure that important installations in the island are not affected,” the spokesman told PTI. The Wellingdon Island, part of Kochi city, houses strategic facilities, including the Southern Naval Command and Cochin Port Trust. The water level will rise in downstream districts with the released excess water from the dams reaching there. Areas in Kuttanad Taluk are likely to be affected, sources said.
Union minister Alphons Kannamthanam said he discussed the flood situation in Kerala with Home Minister Rajnath Singh this morning. “The Government of India is providing all the required assistance including services of armed forces, disaster management team and other required assistance. Any other immediate assistance requested by the Government of Kerala will be provided,” he said in a Facebook post.
Need to Release More Water, Says Kerala CM | This morning, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reviewed the flood situation and relief works being undertaken by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the NDRF. Informing reporters that there is a need to release more water from the Idukki dam in the wake of increase in the water level, he said, “It is essential to release water three times than what was being released now.”
Three shutters of the Idukki reservoir have already been opened. Two more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, the biggest arch dam in Asia, were lifted around 7 am today as the water level continued to rise following continuing rains. One shutter was opened on Thursday after a gap of 26 years. The water level in Idukki at 10 am stood at 2,401.34 feet against the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 2,403 feet.
The Idukki district administration has restricted tourists from visiting hilly areas and movement of heavy goods carriers also has been restricted. At least 30 tourists, including foreigners stranded at the Plum Judy resort at Munnar since Wednesday as roads are blocked due to landslips, are safe and the Army’s help has been sought, state Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said, adding they will be shifted to the KTDC. People living downstream of Periyar and Cheruthoni rivers have been warned that there is a possibility of inundation of banks as torrential rain pounded the state for the second day in a row. Gates of 24 dams in the state have been opened so far due to rising water level.
Red Alert Issued in Idukki | In rain battered-Kerala, a red alert has been issued for Idukki and its adjoining districts in view of the possibility of release of more water from the Idukki reservoir, while entry of tourists to the high-range district was stopped after roads caved in at many places. Five columns of Army has been deployed in the state’s northern districts since last night, and small bridges have been constructed to evacuate people stranded at various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad.
Earlier in the day, around 57 tourists, including foreigners, have been stranded in Munnar and Kerala Tourism Minister Kadkampalli Surendran had spoken to them over phone. The foreigners include two from the United States, seven from Singapore, five Omanis, seven Saudis and three Russians. The minister said that all tourists were all safe.
DSC Kannur has deployed one column of Defence Security Corps (DSC) personnel to Idukki. Idukki presently has two column of defence personnel in the flood operations. DSC Kannur has deployed four more column at Iritty, Thamarassery, Wayanad and Malappuram.
According to a PIB release, the army and air force have swung into action for the disaster relief and rescue operation which is going on in the disaster hit districts In Kerala. Total eight columns of Army have been deployed in different parts of Kerala, the release said. The Indian Air Force has deployed two helicopters for the search and rescue operation. One Mi-17IV and an ALH helicopters have been deployed from Sulur Air Force base. One AN-32 aircraft was also flown to Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu to airlift the NDRF personnel for enhanced rescue operations and brought them to Kozhikode.
Rajnath Singh to Undertake Aerial Survey | Home Minister Rajnath Singh will reach Kerala on Sunday and conduct an aerial survey in the flood-hit state. Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam will also be accompanying him.
The Cochin International Airport Limited has now said that operational area is not affected. It said that there was no need for suspension or cancellation of flights. On Thursday, (CIAL) had stopped the arrival operations in view of possible inundation in the airport area following a rising water level in the Periyar river.
Speaking to reporters about the Kerala floods, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “I spoke to Kerala CM, he is fully satisfied with the assistance of the central government and he has told me that every department is cooperating well.”
I spoke to Kerala CM, he is fully satisfied with the assistance of the central govt & he has told me that every department is cooperating well. If he needs any other assistance he will inform me: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/54sIA61rji
— ANI (@ANI) 10 August 2018
All Shutters of Idukki Cheruthoni Dam Open | Fifth shutter of the Idukki Cheruthoni dam has been opened. All shutters of the damn are now open. Kerala has been pounded due to heavy downpour, resulting in the swelling of rivers and flooding in several parts.
CPI(M) leader P Karunakaran said six districts in the state have been badly affected. At least 20 people have died in the Idukki district due to heavy rains and floods, while five people lost their lives in Wayanad, he said demanding military assistance.
Congress leader K C Venugopal said Wayanad district in the state has been cut off from the rest of Kerala due to landslides.”For the first time, shutters of 22 dams were opened to release excess water while water from the Idukki reservoir was also released after 26 years, flooding the Periyar River,” Venugopal said and demanded a special financial package for the state.
Centre Assures Help | The Centre will provide all possible help to flood-hit Kerala, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today assured the MPs from the state in the Lok Sabha. Singh said he had also sent Kiren Rijiju, his deputy in the ministry, to the state for a survey of the affected areas. “We will provide all necessary assistance to the state,” Singh told the MPs from Kerala during the Zero Hour.
Decision taken to release 600 cusecs of water from Cheruthoni dam today. Kerala has witnessed torrential rains causing floods and landslides. 25 dams have been opened out of the total 39 dams in the state.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that he had spoken to Kerala CM and assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government. He added that the MHA was closely monitoring the situation.
Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinrayi Vijayan and discussed the prevailing flood situation in the state. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government. The relief and rescue ops are going on. MHA is closely monitoring the flood situation.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) 10 August 2018
Cheruthoni bus stand has partially been washed away and the bridge has been almost submerged due to the floods in the state. Meanwhile, in Ernakulam which was hit by the floods, afternoon holiday was declared for government offices.
Fourth Shutter of Idukki Dam Opened | Fourth shutter of the Idukki dam has been opened. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which maintains the Idukki dam, had earlier issued the red alert saying the shutters of the reservoir would be opened on Friday and asked people living downstream to be “extremely vigilant”.
Kerala CMO issued a tweeted informing people that more water would be released due to rise in water level. Considering the situation, CM also instructed that people living in downstream areas be alerted with the help of announcements. He also directed the relocation of people living in vulnerable areas.
Considering the situation, CM has instructed to alert the people living in downstream areas with the help of announcements. He has also instructed to relocate people living in vulnerable areas.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) 10 August 2018
Fishermen Alerted | Indian Ocean Forecast System (INDOFOS) predicts strong winds from north westerly to westerly direction, with speed reaching 25-35 kmph gusting to 45-55 kmph occasionally, along and off Kerala coast. It has advised fishermen to not venture over southwest and central Arabian sea.
Kerala CM also tweeted that three shutters of the Idukki dam have been raised and informed that 125 cusecs of water are being discharged in the spill. With water levels reaching almost maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water.
Updates on Idukki Cheruthoni dam: 3 shutters of the dam have been raised. 125 cusecs of water are being discharged in the spill.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) 10 August 2018
CM Pinarayi Vijayan in a tweet said that a ban had been imposed on the movement of heavy goods vehicles and tourist vehicles in the high ranges of Idukki in wake of the floods in Kerala. He also said that relief efforts were on to ease the situation.
District collectors were given permissions to hire necessary number of bulldozers, generators & lights. They were instructed to provide food, water, clothes and toilet facilities for the people staying in relief camps. The service of doctors has been ensured in the camps.
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) 9 August 2018
According to state disaster control room sources, 241 relief camps have been opened and 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas. Over 5,500 people from Wayanad district, where a red alert had been sounded yesterday, have been shifted to relief camps, the sources said this morning. In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after 4 shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened yesterday. (News18 creative by Mir Suhail)
“Those who are in Idukki district, have to contact the district authorities or the tourism department if they require any help. There’s no need to panic, instead be cautious and avoid fragile places,” Kerala tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said.
The grim situation in Kerala finds a mention amid ruckus over the Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha. Opposition lawmakers are protesting against the decision to introduce the bill on a Friday, which is reserved for Private Members Bill. Chairman Venkaiah Naidu says situation in Kerala is “more important” and asks members to not waste time. The Upper House is adjourned till 2:30 pm.
Three more shutters of Idukki dam were opened on Friday morning. Precautionary measures were being taken as incessant rains are causing a rise in water levels in several dams across Kerala.
All the tourists including 30 foreign tourists who were trapped following a landslide in a resort in Munnar are safe, informed Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. The minister has also urged the authorities to shift the tourists from Idukki to a safer place. The minister gave instructions to the resort owners and also spoke to the foreigners who were trapped inside and assured all the possible help from the government.