Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Church in India's Kerala state aiding people affected by rains, floods, landslides

Church in India's Kerala state aiding people affected by rains, floods, landslides

A total of 53,501 people are being sheltered in relief camps.

"Expressing shock over the death of 22 persons due to flood in Kerala, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that Government of Karnataka would extend every possible support for flood relief in Kerala", read an official statement.

Access to many of these places are hard and is affecting the rescue operations. The US Embassy has asked its citizens to avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods.

Rescue operations being carried out following a landslide, triggered by heavy rains at Adimali, in Idukki, Kerala on Thursday.

Federal home minister Rajnath Singh was expected to travel to the state on Sunday to take a stock of the relief and rescue operations, Kurian added.

Meanwhile, the water level at Idukki has touched 2401.60 ft at 1 pm against a full reservoir level of 2403 feet.

The South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state since August 8.

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Though the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority had on Wednesday announced that only one shutter would be operated and 82 cumecs water would be released if the water level rises up to 17 m before 6 a.m. on Thursday, the relentless rain caused a change in plan.

On Friday, the discharge of water from all five shutters of Cheruthoni dam reached eight lakh litres per second, submerging most parts of Cheruthoni town and raising the water level at Bhoothathankettu dam downstream by 1.2 metres.

Latest visuals of Periyar river. He appealed to people to be vigilant. "Any other immediate assistance requested by the Government of Kerala will be provided", he said in a Facebook post.

Col. Ajai Sharma, the commandant of DSC Centre, who is overseeing relief and rescue operations, said five columns of Army have been deployed in the northern districts since last night.

The opening of the Cheruthoni dam saw people running helter-skelter to save their lives, trying to find a safe place to stay till the rains ceased and the water levels went down.

"Wetland refilling, encroachment and unauthorized construction in river banks and conversion of paddy fields have affected the flow of water, leading to stagnation and flash floods", another official at KSDMA said on condition of anonymity. He has been reviewing the flood situation and relief work being undertaken by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the NDRF.

In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after 4 shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened yesterday. The road to Kakkayam dam site in Kozhikode was cut off after the connecting road was washed away in the floods, reports the Hindu. However, many areas are still inundated and people were seen trying to save their belongings.

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