The southeast monsoon this year turned out to be the most damaging rain season for Kerala. Many places in the state have been affected with the downpour. Dam reservoirs reached maximum storage capacity and shutters of more than 20 dams have been opened. The water level in rivers has raised flooding residential areas.
Even as all the five shutters of Idukki Cheruthoni dam were opened on Friday, the water level in the dam continues to rise as the inflow to the dam is more than the water being let out. While three shutters were lifted by 1 metre, two shutters were lifted by 50 cm. 7.5 lakh litres of water is being released from the dam per second since 5 pm. The copious flow of water resulted in the bridge at Cheruthoni town submerging in the water by 2 pm.
Indian Meteorological Department has informed that the rains continuously battering the state is set to intensify in the coming days. The Kerala Disaster Management Authority has issued a red alert in Wayanad district till August 14. Apart from Wayanad, a red alert has been issued for Idukki till August 13 as the IMD has announced possibilities of torrential rains till date. Apart from Wayanad, a red alert has been issued for Idukki till August 13 as the IMD has announced possibilities of torrential rains till date.
Four more shutters of Idukki Cheruthoni dam were opened on Friday, following the heavy rain and intense water flow. With this, all five shutters of the dam are opened. The water level in the dam has reached 2401.62 feet.
State Disaster Control Room sources said 26 people have died in rain-related incidents since yesterday with 17 of them being killed in landslides in Idukki and Malappuram districts. Search operations are underway to trace the missing people. Landslips were reported in five districts. Shutters of 24 dams, including Idukki, were opened following the rise in water level. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked people to stay alert as the state is facing a dangerous situation in the torrential downpour.
A high alert has been issued in Idukki district following chaos and devastation as the raging monsoon unleashed torrential rains across Kerala. Two more shutters of Idukki Cheruthoni dam were opened at 7 am on Friday, following the heavy rain and intense water flow. The water level in the dam has reached 2401.46 feet. Maximum storage capacity of the dam is 2403 feet. The water level reached 2400.28 feet by Thursday at 11 pm and rose to 2400.88 feet on Friday at 5 am.
In the wake of unabating rains lashing the state, a holiday has been declared for all educational institutions, including professional colleges in Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Palakkad and Wayanad districts. Idukki district collector has declared a holiday for all educational institutions in the district, including Thodupuzha taluk which was exempted earlier.
The state has received a record rainfall in this monsoon from June 1 to August 9. It is reported that Kerala received 1805.31 mm rain in this time period. Compared to last year, the state received 30 percent excess rainfall in this period. Heavy rains lashed Kerala in June- July months for the first time after 2013. Compared to previous years, rainfall was 20 percent excess in 2013. However, the state has been receiving less rainfall in the months of June and July since 2013.
The US on Thursday issued an advisory, asking its citizens not to visit Kerala because of the flash floods in the state. In the advisory, the US 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. "Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods," it read.
The Traffic Police were struggling to control the public who kept coming to see the overflowing Periyar river after Idukki and Idamalayar dams were opened. People thronged the Aluva Marthanda Varma Bridge to take selfies causing traffic disruption on the route. Finally, the police put curtains on the side of the bridge to block the view to the river and controlled the heavy rush on the national highway.
The Army has deployed three columns comprising about 75 personnel each in flood-hit areas of Kerala, sources said on Thursday. The Army columns have been deployed at Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad. Two more columns have been requisitioned and are moving to Kozhikode and Malappuram, they said. Ten teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), comprising 45 personnel each, have been deployed in Kerala to assist the rescue and relief operations.
Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan said that rehabilitation in connection with the heavy rains in the state is going on in the right direction. The rain is still continuing in most districts, including Idukki. With precautions taken early, a major disaster has been averted without much damage to life. And the Army has been hired for help to deal with the emerging dangers of the torrential rains, the minister added.
Around 30 tourists, including foreigners are stranded at Plum Judy resort in Pallivasal due to the landslide that occurred near the resort. The situation is such that tourists are not able to venture out. Traffic has been disrupted in the landslides. The media has made public a video released by one of the tourists seeking help. The video was released by the drivers who brought the tourists to the resort. A tourist said around 20 families are there in the resort and people from various countries are there.
The low-lying areas in Ernakulam were submerged as shutters of Cheruthoni, Bhoothathankettu, Idukki and Idamalayar dam were opened. Around thousands of houses in Alappuzha were submerged. People are being rehabilitated to relief camps. As Sivarathri Manappuram is immersed in water, there is increased concerns over Vavu Bali which will be performed on Saturday. The rituals which were performed at the Manappuram will have to be shifted to a higher platform.
Teachers and students at Puthusserybhagam Govt LP School are having a tough time this monsoon. The leaky roofs of classrooms are affecting classes here. Buckets and pots are placed in all classrooms to collect rain water. It is not a rain harvesting method but a precaution to check flood in classroom from the heavy rain. Apart from taking classes, teachers are struggling to keep the children safe from the rain inside the classroom too.
Vythiri gram panchayat shopping complex collapsed in Wayand district. A car and a Traveller vehicle parked near the building were also crushed in the mishap. The incident took place by 11 pm on Thursday. There are no reports of injuries in the accident. The building comprises an ATM counter in the first floor, four showrooms, a comfort station and a community hall.
A photo story of the rain havoc in Kerala.