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Kerala floods highlights: Red alert across all 14 districts, hundreds feared marooned

Heavy rain, landslides and floods have claimed around 70 lives in Kerala so far. Shutters of 35 dams have been opened in the state. Follow live updates here:

By Ramesh Babu | Aug 16, 2018 03:15 IST

Torrential rains continued to wreak havoc in many parts of flood-ravaged Kerala on Wednesday even as authorities shut down flight operations from Cochin international airport for four days after flood water submerged the runway.

Heavy rain, landslides and floods have claimed around 70 lives so far.

Here are the LIVE updates on Kerala rains:

2:37am IST

Kerala govt offers a dedicated website for relief and rescue efforts is an initiative by Govt. of Kerala, Kerala State IT Mission and IEEE Kerala Section. For effective collaboration and communications between authorities, volunteers and public

2:30am IST

Rahul Gandhi asks to support CM’s relief fund

11:52pm IST

Death toll rises to 70

The death has risen to 70. The Army and Air force have been deployed.

The situation continues to be grave in Kerala. Many areas in the southern party of the state are engulfed in water.

11:25pm IST

Helpline numbers for Kozhencherry, Mallappally, Ranni, Thiruvalla, Konni

11:23pm IST

Red alert across Kerala, 1.5 lakh people moved to 1067 relief camps

CMO tweets, “A high alert situation continues in Kerala, the death toll has climbed to 67 and currently about 1.5 lakh people have been moved to 1067 relief camps across the state.”

“In the morning, red alerts were issued for 12 out of the 14 districts, but by evening, it was extended to all districts in the state.”

11:15pm IST

Army contingent lands at Thiruvananthapuram

An army contingent has landed at Thiruvananthapuramairport for rescue operations in Ranny, Kozhencherry and Aranmula. They will be rushing to these places soon. Their main task is to rescue people stranded in these areas, tweets CM’s office.

10:43pm IST

Schools, colleges in Ernakulam district closed on August 16, 17

All the educational institutions in Ernakulam district to remain closed on August 16 and 17.

8:53pm IST

Over 80 people rescued by Navy

The Navy rescued more than 80 persons today. As part of its ‘Operation Madad’, the Southern Naval Command deployed 21 rescue and diving teams with Gemini boats.

“A total of four teams went out (on Wednesday) to augment those already deployed. More than 81 persons were rescued, many of whom were also provided food and shelter by setting up a rescue camp,” an Indian Navy spokesperson said.

8:46pm IST

All Kochi flights to be rescheduled from Thiruvananthapuram or Kozhikode: Suresh Prabhu

8:38pm IST

Drinking water, power supply affected: CM Vijayan

As the drinking water distribution system collapsed in several parts, CM Vijayan has asked people to minimise the use of water being distributed by the state water authority.

Periyar, Chalakudy Puzha and Pampa rivers were overflowing in central Kerala, while the water level in Killiyar, Karamanayar, Vamanapuram rivers and Parvathyputhanar canal in Thiruvananthapuram district are steadily rising.

Power supply and communication systems have been disrupted in various parts of the state.

8:29pm IST

25 deaths today, 11 in Malappuram

Twenty-five deaths were reported today, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said. Eleven deaths were reported from Malappuram alone, officials said.

Vijayan said the heavy rains would continue for some more days, which will further worsen the situation.

8:25pm IST

Visuals from Kochi airport

7:59pm IST

Mullaperiyar water levels must be lowered immediately: CM Vijayan

“CM raised the issue of water level in Mullaperiyar dam, which has reached dangerous levels, with the Home minister. The inflow of water to Mullaperiyar is now much more than the outflow.

In this situation, CM informed that Tamil Nadu has to intervene immediately to lower water level in the Mullaperiyar dam. The Home minister discussed the matter with the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami demanding lowering of the water level in Mullaperiyar dam. It must be done urgently in the interest of the security of the dam.

There is heavy downpour in the catchment areas of the dam. To prevent the situation of a sudden release of water in large volumes, which will result in widespread damage, water levels must be lowered immediately,” tweets Kerala CMO.

7:48pm IST

CM asks Centre for additional teams of Army, NDRF

CM Pinarayi Vijayan has requested Home minister Rajnath Singh to send additional teams of Army, NDRF and Army Engineering Corps to the state. In a tweet, the CMO’s office said a C-17 aircraft was also requested for transporting equipments to the affected areas. More dinghy boats were also needed.

7:35pm IST

Death toll rises to 67

Death toll in Kerala rains have risen to 67.

A person died in a Munnar lodge collapse. A 70-year-old woman was electrocuted near Pathanamthitta as her house was submerged.

Landslides claimed lives in Malappuram too. In Thiruvananthapuram district, a 70-year-old man died after the wall of his house collapsed. Two landslides occurred in Idukki late evening, killing five people. Four persons were reported missing in the landslips.

7:14pm IST

Tamil Nadu agrees to draw more water from Mullaperiyar

After home minister Rajnath Singh’s intervention, Tamil Nadu agrees to draw more water from Mullaperiyar.

6:44pm IST

Pinarayi demands Tamil Nadu CM’s intervention to reduce Mullaperiyar water level

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has communicated to Tamil Nadu CM EK Palaniswami demanding his intervention to reduce the water level of Mullaperiyar Dam to 139 feet. The water level in the dam has reached 142 feet.

6:36pm IST

Shashi Tharoor visits temporary relief shelter in Thiruvananthapuram

6:26pm IST

CM raises Mullaperiyar issue with Rajnath Singh

CM Pinarayi Vijayan has complained to home minister Rajnath Singh over Tamil Nadu not drawing enough water from Mullaperiyar. Tamil Nadu engineers camping at the dam’s site insist more water will destroy their crops.

6:15pm IST

Centre ready to provide any assistance needed: PM Modi

6:13pm IST

Educational institutions to remain shut tomorrow

Barring Kasargod, educational institutions across Kerala will remain shut tomorrow, August 16. Colleges and universities have postponed exams.

6:10pm IST

CM speaks to PM Modi, Rajnath Singh

CM Pinarayi Vijayan spoke to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh over phone. CM informed them about the intensifying flood situation in the State, tweets the chief minister’s office.

“PM Modi has assured the assistance of Centre in handling the situation. CM informed that all the rivers in the State are overflowing and that all the dams are also releasing water. CM Pinarayi Vijayan also visited the Hon’ble Kerala Governor P Sathasivam in Raj Bhavan and updated him about the flood situation,” tweets CMO.

5:51pm IST

Death toll rises to 52

Death toll in the Kerala rains has risen to 52. CM Pinarayi Vijayan will hold a press conference at 7pm.

Army’s engineering group is to be deployed in the state to restore basic infrastructure.

5:25pm IST

Flight status update

Air India says on Thursday, August 16, its Kochi-Sharjah-Kochi and Kochi-Bahrain-Kochi flights will operate to and from the Kozhikode airport. All other Kochi-bound Air India flights will operate from Thiruvananthapuram airport.

Vistara says it will reroute its Kochi passengers to or from Chennai with no change fee or additional fare on space available basis, for those who wish to use this option. However, passengers will have to arrange their own road transport between Chennai and Kochi.

5:05pm IST

4 NDRF teams airlifted from Pune Airport to Kerala

Four teams of NDRF have been airlifted from Pune Airport to Kerala for rescue operations.They have full-wave rectified (FWR) equipment and communication equipment with them, reports ANI.

4:45pm IST

200 killed in Kerala rains since May

A senior official with the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, Sekhar Lukose Kuriakose, told Reuters the seasonal rains have killed more than 200 people in the state since May and displaced many.

4:16pm IST

Eight dead as house collapses in Malappuram

Eight people have died after a house collapsed in Malappuram.

4:11pm IST

People asked to avoid Sabarimala

Authorities have asked people to avoid the Sabarimala hill shrine as the water level in the nearby rain-fed Pamba River was rising. Sabarimala is situated in the mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta district. Although special prayers were listed for Wednesday, the temple was closed to devotees as the Pamba was in spate.

3:53pm IST

35 reservoirs in the State are releasing water: CM Vijayan

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan tweets, “Presently, 35 reservoirs in the State are releasing water. Many districts in the State are facing floods. Red alert has been issued for Ernakulam, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, Kasargod, Thrissur, Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Pathanamthitta districts.”

“All the officials are involved in the rescue and relief operations. The rain will continue for the next four days too and we all need to be careful. The neighbouring states have been helping us and we need their help in the future too,” he says.

3:22pm IST

Navy starts camp in Aluva to coordinate with rescue ops

The Indian Navy has started a camp in Aluva region to coordinate with the rescue operations.

3:10pm IST

KSRTC cancels premium services

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has cancelled its premium services between Bengaluru and Mangalore. Premium services will not operate in Subramanya, Dharmasthala, Kundapur; only express service (Karnataka Sarige) buses are operating via Charmadi to Mangaluru: ANI.

It has also suspended its services from Bengaluru to Kerala’s Kannanur, Kozhikode and Kasaragod.

3:00pm IST

Death toll rises to 47

Unceasing heavy rains battered Kerala killing eight more people and taking the death toll to 47 since August 8: PTI.

2:51pm IST

Rescue operations underway

2:23pm IST

More than 23,000 shifted to relief camps in Ernakulam

More than 23,000 people have been shifted to relief camps in Ernakulam district due to heavy rainfall in the state.

2:20pm IST

Train services along Kollam-Chengotta section suspended

Train services along Kollam-Chengotta section have been suspended for two days.

2:15pm IST

Have to be extra vigilant, says CM

“The state is going through a serious situation, all the rivers are in spate and dams have reached their full capacity. Today, we were forced to open the shutters of Mullaperiyar dam. The water reached many areas of Ernakulam, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts,” says Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

“We have to deal with the situation carefully. We have sought help from the neighbouring state also but things are moving on a war footing - need help from all quarters. The government is committed to minimising the casualties. I ask everyone to cooperate with the government, we have to work together to deal with the unprecedented situation. Since the weather department has predicted rain for four more days, we have to be extra vigilant. I am sure we will overcome this challenge,” he adds.

1:45pm IST

Tamil Nadu refuses to take more water from Mullaperiyar

Tamil Nadu government has refused to take more water from Mullaperiyar, as the dam water level touched 142 feet, says Kerala government. The chief minister is likely to talk to his Tamil Nadu counterpart again.

Shutters of Idamlayar, Idukki and Mullaperiyar dams were opened on Tuesday night to release excess water from the reservoirs. Sluice gates of 33 dams have now been opened across the state.

1:36pm IST

Landslide delays trains

A landslide between Kuzhithurai and Eraniel stations has delayed four trains - Guruvayur-Chennai Egmore express, Kanyakumari-Mumbai CSMT express, Dibugarh-Kanyakumari Vivek Express and Gandhidham-Tirunelveli Humsafar Express, railway sources said:PTI.

A few passenger trains have been partially hit and rail traffic on Kollam-Punalur-Sengottai section has been suspended due to adverse weather conditions. On Thiruvananhtapuram-Thrissur section, trains will be delayed due to speed restrictions due to rise in water levels in rivers and lakes. The engineering department is continuously monitoring the safety of bridges, railways said.

1:20pm IST

Relief camps in Idukki affected by flood water

Kerala government asks Centre to urgently send more forces for help in flood-affected areas. Relief camps in Idukki also affected by flood waters.

1:15pm IST

Celebrate Independence Day by helping flood-hit: CM Vijayan

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to contribute generously in the wake of the state’s worst flood disaster in 94 years even as he took the Independence Day salute in Thiruvananthapuram in pouring rain. Addressing the 72nd Independence Day parade, Vijayan called upon the people to contribute generously at a time when the state was facing the worst ever natural calamity.

“We are celebrating this year’s Independence Day when the floods have ravaged the state. It is a disaster that has never been witnessed in the state. But if all of us join hands, we will be able to handle any disaster,” he said. Vijayan urged people to contribute generously to the Chief Minister Distress Relief Fund.

12:40pm IST

Parts of Palakkad flooded

12:10pm IST

CM chairs meeting in Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan chaired a meeting over flood situation in the state in Thiruvananthapuram.

11:40am IST

Ops on to rescue crew of a fishing boat

A defence spokesperson said the Southern Naval Command has diverted its vessel INS Kalpeni to 12 nautical miles off Alappuzha Coast to rescue the crew of a fishing boat reportedly in danger after water entered it. “A helicopter is also being launched for search and rescue, weather permitting,” he said.

11:30am IST

Authorities ask resorts, houseboats to evacuate tourists

The India Meteorological Department has issued red alert (heavy to very heavy rainfall in most places) for Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasargode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Idukki and Ernakulam Districts till tomorrow: ANI.

Authorities have asked resorts and houseboats in Alappuzha and Kottayam to evacuate tourists immediately.

The weather department has warned of heavy rains accompanied with gusty winds with speed reaching 60 kmph in all the 14 districts: PTI.

11:09am IST

Water enters operation area of airport

Water has entered the Cochin International Airport. The airport has been shut down for four days.

10:20am IST

Cochin International Airport to be closed till Saturday

Cochin international airport to be closed till Saturday after flood water submerged the runway, says CIAL. All Air India express flights from Cochin will operate from Thiruvananthapuram.

10:08am IST

Train services disrupted

Train services were disrupted at many places in Kerala while some of the main bridges were swept away by water. Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari rail service was among those suspended.

10:00am IST

Couple in Malappuram crushed to death as house collapses

According to news agency IANS, a couple in Malappuram were crushed after their house crumbled while their six-year-old child is missing. A person died in a Munnar lodge as it crashed while a 70-year-old woman in Ranni near Pathanamthitta was electrocuted as her house was submerged.

9:40am IST

Red alert in 12 districts of Kerala

A red alert has been sounded in 12 out of 14 districts of Kerala after heavy rainfall. The government has sought more army and NDRF personnel as situation turned bleak.

8:45am IST

Modi sympathises with victims of flood-hit Kerala in I-Day speech

Sympathising with the victims in the flood-hit state of Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his thoughts are with the families of the victims. He said,” Many parts of the nation witnessed good monsoon but at the same time parts of India have been severely hit by floods. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in these floods, in various parts of India.”

7:50am IST

Idukki, Wayanad districts receive 80mm rainfall

The worst-affected Idukki and Wayanad districts received 80mm rainfall in last 24 hours, a spokesman of the MeT regional office in Thiruvananthapuram said.

7:45am IST

Landslides cut off hill station of Munnar

As rain continued, landslides cut off the hill station of Munnar. The government has asked visitors to avoid travelling to hilly areas after landslides and flash floods swept through many such areas.

7:30am IST

Five missing as flood situation worsens

Five people have been missing since Tuesday night -- three in Idukki, one each in Malappuram and Kozhikode. Many others were saved by the authorities on Wednesday even as they sought more help from NDRF.

7:25am IST

Govt seeks more contingents of NDRF

The Kerala government has sought more contingents of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to combat the serious flood situation in the state. Heavy rain, landslides and the flood have claimed almost 40 lives so far.

7:15am IST

Mullaperiyar Dam opened

Authorities opened sluice gates of Mullaperiyar Dam. A total of 33 dams have now been opened across the state.

7:00am IST

Flight ops form Cochin international airport suspended

Authorities shut down flight operations from Cochin international airport till 2pm on Wednesday after flood water submerged the runway. “Operations were suspended after water reached the runaway in the early hours of Wednesday. Most of the incoming flights are diverted to Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikkode airports,” said a spokesman of the CIAL.

The airport is situated near the banks of swollen Periyar river.