Kerala rains and floods: Death toll rises to 24, Army called in for rescue efforts
At least 24 people were killed and several missing as heavy rains lashed northern and central parts of Kerala triggering landslides. The Kerala government sought the Army's help as the death toll in the rain-related incidents rose to 24 with large-scale damage reported from various parts of the state. This monsoon fury is unprecedented in recent history
Shutter of at least 24 reservoirs, including Idukki Dam, were opened, flooding several parts of the state. With the non-stop rains, water levels continued to rise in Idukki and Edamalayar dams in central Kerala. As many as 8,000 people have been shifted to relief camps in the worst-affected districts of Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Malappuram, reports The Indian Express.
The Kochi international airport partially suspended its operations for three hours after water level in a tributary of Periyar, flowing near the runway, rose alarmingly. Several low-lying areas of Aluva, which is in the vicinity of the airport, have flooded.
A team of the Army's Military Engineering Group is set to arrive at Kozhikode and Ernakulam, officials said, adding that some Army officers from Kannur had already reached the flooded Wayanad.
The worst affected districts include Idukki, Malappuram, Palghat, Kozhikode, Wayanad and parts of Kannur.
Following the opening of the Idamalayar dam gates, the flood water from the Periyar river entered the Cochin International Airport compound, forcing the authorities to temporarily shut operations in the afternoon. The airport reopened after the water receded at 3 pm.
A home ministry statement said 22 persons died in overnight rains and landslides on August 8-9. Idukki alone accounted for 11 deaths.
Two Class 12 students who ventured out for fishing in the flooded waters near Kochi were also swept away. Their bodies were found, officials said.