Rescue officials assist villagers out of a flooded area following heavy monsoon rainfall, near Kochi on Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018. Photo: PTI
The death toll in Kerala has climbed to 67 with rain fury claiming 25 lives on Wednesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has confirmed. More than 1.5 lakh people have been lodged in relief across the state, he said, adding that the heavy rains would continue for some more days, which will further worsen the situation.
For the first time in history, the state has opened 35 of its 39 dams. Meanwhile, operations at the Cochin International Airport have been suspended till 2 pm on Saturday due to flooding in and around the airport. A red alert has been issued in all the 14 districts of the state.
Spelling more trouble for Kerala, the Tamil Nadu government opened the sluice gates of the Mullaperiyar dam at 2.30 am on Wednesday to release excess water from the reservoir.
A government release said Vijayan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the grave situation the state was facing following the rains. The prime minister has assured all help, it said.
The prime minister has taken a “positive stand” towards the state on relief measures, Vijayan told reporters.
Train services have been disrupted and road transport services are in disarray with stretches of roads coming under water. Officials said a holiday has been declared for educational institutions in all districts barring Kasaragod tomorrow while colleges and universities have postponed exams.
As the situation became grave, the state government sought the help of more teams of army personnel, National Disaster Response Force and Army Engineering.