Kottayam: With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a heavy downpour warning for Kerala, the state government on Friday issued a red alert for eight worst-hit districts.
The red alert has been issued for Wayanad till August 14, Idukki till August 13, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode on August 11.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday evening took to social media to advice people to take precautions as heavy rain continued to wreak havoc in parts of Kerala, claiming lives and causing widespread damage. At least 28 people were killed in rain-related incidents. Earlier the day, union home minister Rajnath Singh called up Pinarayi Vijayan and assured him of all central help. The union minister said that 'relief and rescue operations were going on and the ministry of home affairs was closely monitoring the situation.'
Dam shutters opened
As heavy rain continued to lash Kerala, all five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, were opened on Friday. Periyar River is in spate and people living in low-lying areas have been asked to be vigilant.
People living downstream of Periyar and Cheruthoni rivers have been warned that there was a possibility of inundation of banks as torrential rain pounded the state for the second day in a row.
The Idukki district administration has restricted tourists from visiting hilly areas and movement of heavy goods carriers also has been restricted.
Army depolyed, Navy on alert
Five columns of Army have been deployed in the northern districts since last night, and small bridges have been constructed to evacuate people stranded at various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad.
The Indian Navy has put on alert its Southern Naval Command in view of the rising water level in Periyar River.
Over 240 relief camps have been opened and 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas.
Over 5,500 people from Wayanad district, where a red alert had been sounded on Thursday, have been shifted to relief camps.
In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after four shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened Thursday. The government has asked tourists not to go to high-range areas and dam sites.
Prime minister Narendra Modi spoke with the Kerala chief minister on Thursday in the wake of heavy rains and floods in the state, and offered all possible assistance to those affected.
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 are still inundated and people were seen trying to save their belongings.
Cochin International Airport Limited said operations at the airport had not been affected. There was no need to suspend flights and there has been no cancellations.
Read more: Latest Kerala news