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Heavy rains, landslides claim 22 lives in Kerala in past 24 hours

Gireesh Babu/Chennai 09 Aug 18 | 11:25 PM

The heavy south-west monsoon and landslides have resulted in the deaths of 22 people in Kerala in the past 24 hours.  

On Thursday, the state government opened the Idukki Dam's shutters for the first time in around 26 years, as a trial run, causing flooding on the banks of the river.  

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According to reports, at least 22 people, including 10 in the Idukki district, have died in various rain-related incidents, including landslides, on Thursday. The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has said that arrival operations have been stopped from 1.10 pm on Thursday as a precautionary measure.  

The water level in the Idukki Dam has been increasing even after the Cheruthoni Dam's shutter was opened almost 50 centimetres for close to two hours from 1 pm.   

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the state is facing an unprecedented situation and has so far opened shutters of 22 dams to control water levels. The Idamalayar Dam, which was opened earlier, has discharged around 600 cubic metre per second of water, with the reservoir level being maintained at 169.83 metres, according to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.

The Indian Army, Navy and National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in various parts of the state. In the Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur and Palakkad districts, landslides took a toll on several lives and properties.   

With the shutter of the Idukku Dam opened, water from the reservoir has started flooding on both sides of the Periyar, further endangering properties on the banks of the river. The government has taken various steps to shift people living on both sides of the river and asked people not to go near the dam or the banks of the river.     

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