16 killed as heavy rains pound Kerala, trigger landslides
At least 16 people were killed on Wednesday night as heavy rains triggered landslides in many places in Kerala. Ten people died in Idukki while six others died in Wayanad distrtict.
Wayanad district was completely cut off by landslides and the government has sought the army’s help to restore road network to the hill district. In Idukki, many areas were submerged after authorities opened the sluice gates of the Idamalayar dam.
Educational institutions were closed in six districts and people have been advised to avoid travel in hilly areas of the state. In Idukki dam, one of the highest arch dams in the continent, water touched the brim again and authorities are likely to begin trial runs to open the sluice gates which were last opened in 1992.
The 45-year-old Idukki dam had not filled to such levels in the past 26 years. Idukki reservoir has three dams -- the main dam on Periyar that holds maximum water has no shutters as it is situated between two imposing granite hills locally known as Kuravan and Kurathi mala. The other two are Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dams.
Last month, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts were flooded, killing 40 people. A central team led by Union ministers Kiran Rijiju and K J Alpohns visited the areas and announced an initial relief of ₹80 crore. The state had demanded ₹1000 crore relief to tide over the crisis.