Thiruvananthapuram: At least 20 people were killed rain-related incidents and landslides as heavy showers lashed Kerala on August 9.
Idukki district was the worst-affected with 10 deaths, including five members of a family.
Speaking to the media, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said rains have caused extensive damage to life and properties across the southern Indian state. “We have sought six additional teams of National Disaster Response Force,” he added. “As we speak, the trial run of opening one shutter of the Idukki dam might have taken place,” he said.
The government has also postponed the annual Nehru boat race in Alappuzha on August 11 in view of heavy showers forecast.
State Power Minister M M Mani, who hails from Idukki, said: “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…”
Four shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened on Thursday morning to release excess water. One shutter of the Idukki dam was also partially opened as a trial run. The Idukki dam’s shutter was last opened in 1992.
The opening of the dam shutters resulted in an increase in the water level in the Periyar river.
The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) stopped the arrival operations for a few hours in view of possible inundation in the airport area following a rising water level in the Periyar river.
The CIAL is situated close to the river.
Earlier, the Ernakulam district administration conducted a review of the situation at the airport after the water level in a canal near it started rising.
Heavy rains have been lashing several parts of Kerala for the past few days, leading to a copious inflow into the state’s reservoirs.
the chief minister held an emergency meeting to assess the situation.