At least 20 dead in Kerala due to flooding, landslides
Thiruvananthapuram: At least 20 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents as heavy showers continued to lash Kerala . According to the state administration officials, the deaths were attributed to flooding and landslides triggered by incessant rains across the state. Idukki district remained the worst hit with maximum 10 deaths, of which five from one family lost their lives after their house caved in due to a mudslide. The other five victims were from Malappuram district who were washed away by the waters of the Chaliyar river that is flowing at its highest levels since 1994. State Power Minister MM Mani, who hails from Idukki, has warned of the worsening situation in the district and the adjoining area. “Things are pretty bad and I have visited the affected areas and on Thursday morning, the shutters of the Idamalyar dam was opened. We will open one shutter of the Idukki dam also…,” Mani said. Idukki dam was opened after 26 years, following rising water levels due to heavy rains in the district. The dam’s shutter was last opened in 1992. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who held an emergency meeting to assess the situation, has directed the state officials and various state and central agencies like the SDRF and the NDRF to be on alert mode and help people in affected areas. The Kerala government has sought the help of Army, Navy, Coast Guard and the NDRF. ”3 NDRF teams have arrived, 2 teams will arrive soon and 6 additional NDRF teams have been called in,” Kerala CM said. ”Nehru Trophy Boat Race has been cancelled,” he added.