Since the beginning of the monsoon season, 14 districts in the state have been affected by floods comprising over 2,000 villages, says the National Disaster Management Authority
Photo for representation only; Kerala received 15 per cent more rainfall than normal from June 1 to August 8. Credit: Abdul Kalam Azad
Updated on August 10: Rains continued to batter Kerala on August 9. For the second consecutive day, there was almost four times the normal rainfall (377 per cent) in the state. The number of people killed in rain-induced incidents has also increased to 26. Idukki district received 167.2 mm rainfall on Thursday, which is more than eight times the normal. Similarly, Kollam, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram and Wayanad districts received more than seven times their normal rain. Wayanad received the maximum total rainfall of 170.9 mm.
The IMD has further warned of thunderstorms in the Idukki, Wayanad and Pathanamthitta districts.
Amid fears of the water from the Idukki dam spilling over, two more shutters were opened on the morning of August 10, increasing the flow of the Periyar River by 125,000 litres per second. By 2:15 pm today, all five shutters of the Idukki dam have been opened. The river is now in full spate. As many as 24 reservoirs across the state have been opened because of the heavy downpours and rising water levels.
This is the primary reason for flash floods in different parts of the state.
According to state disaster control room, 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas to 241 relief camps across the state.
Unprecedented rainfall in the past 24 hours in Kerala has taken 22 lives. Floods and rain related deaths throughout the season have taken a total of 151 lives so far. Idukki, Wayanad, Alappuzha, Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Malappuram districts have been affected by the rains.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), on August 8, the state received 316 per cent more rainfall than normal. Seven districts were pounded by more than thrice the normal rainfall. Wayanad district received the maximum absolute rainfall of 103.6 mm while Idukki received 94.1 mm rain. Kerala received 15 per cent more rainfall than normal from June 1 to August 8.
The authorities opened the gates of the Idamalayar dam on the morning of August 9 as the water breached its maximum height of 169 meters. Only one shutter of the dam was opened releasing 82 cusecs of water. "The increase in water level downstream due to this limited discharge is estimated to be contained within the river banks," the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said in a press release.
At 12:30 pm, the authority also opened the Cherutheni shutter of the Idukki dam as water levels (2399.56 feet) reached dangerously close to the full capacity mark (2,403 feet) for a trial run. This opening of gates of the Idukki dam has happened after 26 years. The KSDMA has issued an alert in the nearby areas and has asked people not to panic.
Looking at the heavy rain and the dams being opened Kochi airport has been shut down for arrivals amid fears that water will enter the airport area. The departures continue as before.
On Twitter, the chief minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, stated that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had been deployed in Alappuzha, Kozhikode and Ernakulam districts. Help from forces has also been sought for Idukki, Malappuram and Wayanad districts.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) situation report, since the beginning of the monsoon season 14 districts in the state have been affected by floods comprising over 2,000 villages. Almost 12,000 houses have been either fully or partially damaged and crops on 21, 850 hectares have been affected.
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