Kerala Flood: death toll reaches 29, Army on rescue operation
Heavy rainfall continues to lash various parts of Kerala; the government has issued a red alert in the state and Army is engaged to rescue operations. The situation worsened on Friday when all shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the Idukki dam water reservoir, have been opened since Thursday to control the swelling water which is nearing the full capacity. The shutters were opened for the first time in last 26 years. “We are monitoring the situation closely,” said state power minister M M Mani who hails from Idukki. Reportedly, in the last 48 hours, the death toll has touched 29, of which, six deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, while four are reported missing. Army came into action and launched its rescue operation and as many as 439 relief camps have been opened, where around 54000 people, those are homeless now, have taken shelter there. Weather forecasters have warned of heavy rainfall for the next 48 hours and the state has issued third red alert for the same in areas including Idukki, Wayanad, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Malappuram, Palakkad, and Kozhikode districts of Kerala. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday and promised all possible help.