Landslides caused by monsoon rains kill 19 in southern India

Kerala rains,Kerala landslide,heavy rains in Kerala

"Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods", PTI quoted the United States advisory as saying.

Kochi: Fifty-five people have so far been evacuated from flood hit areas in Kerala by the navy in its "Operation Madad" to assist the state government, following heavy rains and release of excess water from many dams.

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

Due to heavy rains and resultant floods in Kozhikode and Waynad districts, a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has been moved to Kozhikode.

One of the five shutters of a large reservoir in northern Idukki district, about 240 km (150 miles) from state capital Thiruvananthapuram, was opened for the first time in 26 years.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) here, the South west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala with Nilambur in Malappuram district receiving "exceptionally heavy rainfall" of 40 cmand Mananthavadyin Waynad 31 cm in the last 24 hours ending 8 am today.

Following the opening of the Idamalayar dam, the waters flooded the Periyar river and reached the compound of the Cochin global airport, which was sbut for all arrivals in the afternoon. At least 50 tourists, including 24 foreigners, stranded at the Plum Judy resort at Munnar since Wednesday, have been rescued, said state Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said. Due to the increase in the water level at Idukki dam, "It is essential to release water three times (more) than what was being released now", Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

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Union minister Alphons Kannamthanam said he discussed the flood situation in Kerala with Home Minister Rajnath Singh this morning. The airport operations may be affected if the water level in the Periyar river rises beyond 3 feet, officials said.

"The situation is under control", he said.

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. 29 persons lost their lives and 58,000 persons are shifted to relief camps.

"The operational area is intact".

The helicopter has left for Wayanad and the CM will visit a relief camp and attend a review meeting at the collectorate, they said. "No cancellation of services so far", an airport spokesperson said.

Rajesh also went on to add that the main area to be affected by the shortage of power supply is the Palakkad town area because unlike the outskirts, the town does not have many facilities for water to subside.

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