At least 60 tourists stranded at Kerala's Munnar resort after landslides


With the IMD Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a heavy downpour warning for Kerala, the state government has issued a red alert for eight worst-hit districts.

State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited flood affected areas.

Dams and rivers overflowed, parts of highways collapsed, and homes were swept away in severe flooding in more than half of Kerala on Friday in the third day of heavy downpour that has claimed the lives of 30 people and left almost 54,000 homeless.

Even on Friday, Idamalayar dam presented the only silver line when things turned alarming at Cheruthoni dam in Idukki forcing KSEB authorities to open all five of its shutters.

A popular tourist destination, Kerala has annual monsoons, but the army drafted for rescue efforts after two days of rain that forced authorities to open the shutters of 24 reservoirs to drain the water. The Indian Navy's southern command has also been put on alert after water level in Periyar river rose amid concerns that parts of Wellingdon Island in Kochi could be completely inundated. The south-west monsoon has been very heavy over Kerala in the past few days.

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

The Kerala government has requested the Centre for "immediate help", the Hindustan Times reported. The first shutters were opened on Thursday after 26 years.

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"The situation is grim, especially in the coastal parts of Kerala, given the continuous rains", P.H. Kurian, State Relief Commissioner and Convenor of KSDMA told Reuters. The KSDMA has issued an alert in the nearby areas and has asked people not to panic.

Rino of Manaykkaparambil house, Panickankudy was killed in a landslip which occurred near the premises of his house on Friday. Only one shutter of the dam was opened releasing 82 cusecs of water.

Kochi in Ernakulam district is also bracing for floods as the water level in the Periyar river has been rising since the fourth sluice gate of the Idukki reservoir was opened.

Access to many of these places are hard and is affecting the rescue operations.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs is closely monitoring the flood situation", a tweet from the home minister's office said.

The water level in the reservoir stood at 2,401.60 ft against a full reservoir level of 2,403 ft. The district administration has sought the support of the National Disaster Response Force following multiple incidents of landslips in the rural areas of Kozhikode.

The airport would probably be water-logged if the water from Idamalayar and Idukki dams reach Ernakulam, say sources.