Kerala remains on the edge as torrential rain continues to wreck havoc, rising death toll to 26 on Friday.
Friday will be critical as the government has opened Idukki-Cheruthoni dam in Idukki district, which received 100mm rainfall in last 24 hours,as per local reports. The dam is nearly 96% full, and is discharging 3 Lakh liters per second waters to the downstream as of Friday 11.30pm.
The Idukki dam’s waters are expected to reach densely populated urban pockets like Ernakulam and Aluva, where Kochi airport lies, by noon. The government said they are closely monitoring the situation in these already waterlogged areas.
Power minister M. M. Mani, who is in Idukki, said to reporters that the situation is under control. Kochi Airport statement in a statement said: “Operations go on smoothly. The operational area is intact. No cancellations of services so far."
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has cancelled all official events and is monitoring the floods situation.
“A ban has been imposed on the movement of heavy goods vehicles and tourist vehicles in the high ranges of Idukki. The decision was taken on account of unabated rains in the area," he tweeted from his official Twitter account on Friday.
Meanwhile, flooding and landslides continue to badly damage in north and central Kerala. Local news channels show people roving boats and fleeing to safer zones, as houses, roads and other properties collapse. An estimated 8000 people are in relief camps with meagre resources across the state, as per the reports.
In Idukki, after a distress video put out on social media, 30 stranded tourists were rescued by the army on Friday morning. US embassy has issued warning for its citizens against travelling to Kerala in view of the floods and landslides.
Multiple columns of Indian Army, Air Force, Navy and ten teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed across Kerala for relief and rescue operations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured all help in a phone call to Vijayan on Thursday night.