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11 August 2018, 07:06 | Darnell Patrick
Rains, landslides kill 24, displace thousands in India's Kerala state
Ten teams of the National Disaster Response Force, along with teams from the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard have been deployed to districts such as Palakkad, Kozhikode, Idukki, Wayanad and Malappuram.
The foreign tourists are from countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Oman, officials said.
People being taken to safety following a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Idukki.
The shutters of the dam, which had not been opened since 1992 owing to the lack of monsoon shower in the catchment area of the reservoir that spreads over 649.3 km2 (251 sq mi), were opened after 26 years. Roads have either caved in or suffered damage at many places in the state. Landslips occurred at many places in Wayanad and Malappuram also. Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan who convened a review meeting at Aluva earlier in the day said the State Government would apprise the Central team of officials of the gravity of the situation and request emergency assistance to tide over the crisis. "The service of doctors has been ensured in the camps".
According to the Economic Times, the water level in various dams of the state is going way over the danger mark, after which shutters of at least 24 reservoirs in Kerala have been opened to drain out excess water.
In view of this, water level in the Periyar river and its tributaries will rise. He has also cancelled all his public functions till Sunday to monitor relief work.
A total of eight columns of army personnel were deployed in various parts of Kerala in which two columns were exclusively kept for the worst-hit Idukki district. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity", the PM said in a tweet.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured the MPs from the state in the Lok Sabha that the Centre will provide all possible help. The government said they are closely monitoring the situation in these already waterlogged areas.
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The release of the Idamalayar dam resulted in the flooding of low laying districts as well.
One shutter was opened on Friday after a gap of 26 years.
"People living in the downstream areas of these dams must be cautious". Today, two more gates of one of the dams of the reservoir were opened to control the swelling water which is nearing the full capacity. "We are on a high alert", District Collector Mohamed Safirulla told the Hindustan Times. The inmates of these houses were shifted to relief camps.
Vijayan warned of strict action against those found spreading rumours about dam openings.
"Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the state".
"Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods", it read.
Currently, Monsoon surge is active over the state of Kerala as a cyclonic circulation is seen over Southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area in the mid-levels.
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