Kerala gets a breather as rain relents, CM surveys Idukki and Wayanad
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan conducted an aerial survey of the worst-affected Idukki and Wayanad districts on Saturday.Updated: Aug 11, 2018 23:31 IST
The water level in Kerala’s Idukki dam reduced to 2,400 feet on Saturday as heavy rains that lashed the state for three days abated on Saturday. Authorities were forced to open the dam’s all five shutters for the first time in 40 years after the level crossed the maximum 2403 feet limit. The opening posed a flood threat to many downstream areas including the port city Kochi.
“We have no plan to close the shutters now. So far everything is going as planned,” said power minister M M Mani who is camping in Idukki. As many as 6 lakh litres of water was being released per second from the reservoir.
Officials said 60 mm rain was recorded in the dam’s catchment area on Saturday. A day earlier, 100 mm rainfall had been recorded, prompting the state government to issue a red alert in eight districts. The Indian Meteorological Department had forecast heavy rains for two more days.
Over 53,000 people have been shifted to relief camps and three armed forces units and National Disaster Response Force teams have been deployed in the worst-hit areas. “The timely deployment of these rescue teams helped save many lives,” said revenue minister E Chandrasekharan.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan conducted an aerial survey of the worst-affected Idukki and Wayanad districts. “It is an unprecedented natural disaster. We face an uphill task in rebuilding devastated areas. We need help from all quarters,” he said after visiting relief camps in north Kerala’s Wayanad. His chopper could not land in Idukki due to bad weather.
Vijayan announced Rs 4 lakh compensation for the families of those killed in rain-related incidents. Rs 10 lakh each would be given to those, who have lost their crops and homes. At least 30 persons have been killed. The army rescued at least 57 stranded tourists, including 24 foreigners, from the hill station of Munnar on Friday.
Watch: Kerala CM Vijayan conducts aerial survey of flood affected areas
Vijayan announced special ‘adalats’ will be set up to issue duplicate copies of documents and educational certificates lost because of the flooding. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala accompanied Vijayan.
Many areas in Kochi were without drinking water for two days after the floods hit the main pumping unit in Aluva. The Kerala Water Authority said water supply will be restored in a day.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the Centre’s help for Kerala. “It is critical to acknowledge looming humanitarian crisis in Kerala. Hope the Union government will co-operate with the state in massive relief and rehabilitation efforts,” he said.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh will conduct an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas on Sunday.