Kerala: Shutters of Idamalayar dam opened, water level in Periyar river increases

Kerala rains Kochi airport

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan addressed the media and said that Army, Navy, Coast Guard and NDRF teams have been called to tackle the situation.

In the advisory, the U.S. said the heavy southwest monsoon rains triggered landslides and floods in the state, and American citizens should avoid visiting all affected areas in the state.

Speaking to the media here, Vijayan said rains have caused extensive damage to life and properties across the state.

It is the first time in 26 years that the shutter of the Cheruthoni dam of the Idukki reservoir, considered the biggest arch dam in Asia, has been opened.

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) made a decision to resume the arrival operations almost two hours after a possible inundation in the airport area was detected, the spokesperson said. The CIAL had stopped the arrival operations from 1.10 pm as a precautionary measure. Ernakulam district collector Mohammed Y Safeerulla is reviewing the situation at Kochi International Airport Limited after water level in a canal near it started rising.

The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet and storage capacity is 69,268 Mcft and storage percentage is 97.61 percent. The dam will be opened on Friday morning to maintain the water level.

The chief minister said the administration was forced to open the gates of 24 dams in the state.

The shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened at 5 am with the released water flowing all the way down to Ernakulam district and swelling the Periyar river and the adjoining Aluva town.

Landslides have been reported from Rajapuram and Adimali in Idukki and Thamarassery and Kuttiyadi in Wayanad districts, with minor ones reported from Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur and Palakkad districts. Two persons were pulled out alive from the debris by the local people and police.

All four shutters of the Idamalayar dam were also opened.

Kerala State Electricity Board has issued a red alert as water level in Idukki dam continued to rise despite keeping one of the five shutters open for several hours on Thursday.

Idukki district was put on high alert following a series of landslips. Three NDRF teams are in Alappuzha, Wayanad and Kozhikode.

Educational institutions have declared a holiday in Idukki, Kollam and other districts due to the incessant rains.

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