Kerala floods: CM's gesture is an important lesson for all politicians

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

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

Three additional diving teams have also been dispatched to Aluva in coordination with the deputy collector for utilisation by the district collector in affected areas to augment the rescue, the release said.

Heavy rainfall continues to affect the state of Kerala, and several districts are now faced with shortage of basic necessities such as water and electricity.

Tourists were barred from entering the hilly Idukki district after roads caved in at many places.

Kerala state authorities have taken the unprecedented step of opening the gates of 25 water reservoirs to prevent potentially disastrous breaches.

Shibu, a relief official, said Friday almost 200 army soldiers joined rescue workers in the worst-hit Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad areas.

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With water level continuing to rise in the Idukki reservoir in Kerala, the fifth shutter of Idukki dam was lifted on Friday.

The southwest monsoon till August has given Kerala its heaviest rainfall since 2013, a top official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.

Col. Ajai Sharma, the commandant of DSC Centre, who is overseeing relief and rescue operations, said five columns of Army have been deployed in the northern districts since Thursday night. "People living in downstream areas of these dams must be cautious", a tweet by the Chief Minister's Office said later.

After shutters of Edamalayar and Cheruthoni dams were opened to release excess water from the reservoir, houses and commercial buildings around the Periyar river bank got flooded.

50 tourists stuck in Munnar More than 50 tourists, including 24 from overseas, are stranded in a resort in Munnar after the road leading to it was damaged in a landslide.

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Union minister Alphons Kannamthanam said he discussed the flood situation in Kerala with Home Minister Rajnath Singh this morning.

The Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery resumed flight operations after it was halted as a precautionary measure after the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were opened.

According to state disaster control room, 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas to 241 relief camps across the state.

Vijayan visited flood affected areas of Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur and Ernakulam by Helicopter. "No cancellation of services so far", an airport spokesperson said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took stock of the situation and offered all required assistance to the Kerala government.

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In Palakkad district, the flood waters have started receding today as the quantity of water being released from Malampuzha dam has been reduced and Palakkad town is limping back to normal. However, many areas were still inundated.

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