KOCHI: Large parts of Kerala remained deluged on Independence Day as heavy rains lashed across the hilly terrains and plains leaving many people homeless even as dams were opened to release the excess water.
The state disaster management authority has issued a red alert in 12 districts while places like Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Ernakulam and Idukki will remain on alert till tomorrow. Heavy rain accompanied with gusty winds, with speed reaching upto 60 km is expected in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode districts.
Cochin International Airport will remain off the aviation map for nearly four days with Cial (Cochin International Airport Limited) announcing suspension of operations till Saturday due to flooding triggered by incessant rains.
Officials are working to drain out the water and a control room (04842610094) has been opened for the public.
The crisis in Idukki deepened with the water level rising in Mullaperiyar dam. Its spillway was opened at 1.45am. Mullaperiyar dam level stands at 141.6 ft. Eleven shutters of the dam have been opened and 4400 cubic ft of water is being released. About 4,000 families have been evacuated from the banks of Periyar and moved to relief camps.
Idukki reservoir level touched 2398.82ft at 11am with 15 lakh litres per second being released. Shutter number 1 and 5 have been raised to 2 m and the other three shutters (2,3,4) have been raised to 2.3m.
Authorities have opened three emergency phone numbers- 0486233111, 9061566111 and 938343036.
Water level in Idamalayar dam is dangerously high at 169.21 metre, while that at Malankara dam stood at 41.38 metre. Ernakulam, which is bearing the brunt of the Mullaperiyar and Idukki water releases, is inundated on both sides of Periyar river. The Aluva Siva temple is almost fully underwater with just the roof visible.
An orange alert had been issued in the capital district of Thiruvananthapuram for the first time this season.
Neyyar, Parvathy Puthanar and Killiyar rivers are overflowing causing floods in several areas such as Neyyattinkara, Jagathy, Kannammoola, Gowreeshapattom and Karimadam. Shutters of Neyyar and Aruvikkara dams were raised further on Wednesday morning to discharge more water.
The district administration have set up 24 relief camps in various parts. Heavy rains have triggered a rise in water levels in several rivers, including Chaliyar, Bharathappuzha, Kadaklundi, Iruvazhinhi, Poonoor, Tirur puzha and Chethukadavu puzha.
Following the incessant rain, a house collapsed near Kondotty early Wednesday killing two people. Kaithakunda natives Muneera and her husband were killed in the incident and the search for their six-year-old child is still under way.
A fishing boat, Al-Jubair, is stranded in the sea about 25 nautical miles from Ponnani harbor, due to gear complaint. There are six fishermen in the boat. The rescue boat was forced to return due to inclement weather. The coast guard authorities have sought the assistance of Navy to rescue the fishermen.
Traffic on many routes were completely disrupted due to the floods and bus services from Kozhikode to rural areas of Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad district were suspended due to the alarming rise in water level in rivers.
The state government directed all revenue department officials to report for duty even though it is a holiday. The death toll in the state has risen to 44 with five deaths being reported from various parts of the state since morning.
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