20 Killed as Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc in Kerala; Arrivals Halted at Kochi Airport

Kerala Heavy Rains

Thiruvananthapuram: At least 20 people were killed rain-related incidents and landslides as heavy showers lashed Kerala on Thursday. Idukki district was the worst-affected with 10 deaths, including five of one family. Speaking to the media, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said rains have caused extensive damage to life and properties across the state. “We have sought six additional teams of National Disaster Response Force,” he added. “As we speak, the trial run of opening one shutter of the Idukki dam might have taken place,” he said.

The government has also postponed Saturday’s annual Nehru boat race in Alappuzha in view of heavy showers forecast. State Power Minister MM Mani, who hails from Idukki, said: “Things are pretty bad and I have visited the affected areas and on Thursday morning, the shutters of the Idamalyar dam was opened. We will open one shutter of the Idukki dam also…”

Four shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened on Thursday morning to release excess water. One shutter of the Idukki dam was also partially opened as a trial run. The Idukki dam’s shutter was last opened in 1992. The opening of the dam shutters resulted in an increase in the water level in the Periyar river.