Kerala floods: Eight columns of Army deployed for rescue operations

Rains, landslides kill 24, displace thousands in India's Kerala state

Kerala Monsoon: Hefty rains lash Wayanad, Palakkad, Punalur, Alappuzha

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has cancelled all his programmes and will be stationed here in the context of the grave situation and also forecast heavy rains over the next few days as well.

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.

Earlier, Vijayan, while talking to media, said rains have caused extensive damage to life and property across the state. Idukki has requested for help and will be receiving one column of Army. The Southern Naval Command at Kochi has rescued people stranded in the flood-hit areas, as part of the Indian Navy's "Operation Madad" for the rain and landslide-ravaged state.

The CIAL is situated close to the river.

The arrival operations were resumed from 3.05 pm this evening, a spokesperson of the airport said.

Ernakulam District administration officials said over 2,300 people living on the banks of Periyar river have been shifted to 38 camps opened in view of rising water level following release of water from Cheruthoni and Idamalayar dams. Gates of 24 dams in the state have been opened so far due to rising water level.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed five An-32 transport aircraft, two Mi-17 V5 helicopters and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) for rescue and relief operations in the rain-devastated parts of Kerala.

The decision came after four shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened this morning to release excess water.

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".

Father Abhilash Chirambikkunnel, an official of Thamaraserry Diocese, said officials were providing schools and other church institutions to accommodate people in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. Two persons were pulled out alive from the debris by the local people and police.

On Saturday, the inflow into the dam stood at 6,00,000 litres of water per second, while the outflow through the floodgates is 7.50 lakh litres per second. "We are on a high alert", District Collector Mohamed Safirulla told the Hindustan Times.

The Army is engaged in rescue operations in Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

Two NDRF teams have been sought from the Centre for north Kerala. On Friday, rains continued to pound the hilly district of Idukki, even though the intensity of showers reduced in the rest of the state.

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