Heavy rains, landslides kill 25 in India

Rains, landslides kill 24, displace thousands in India's Kerala state

According to state disaster control room sources, 241 relief camps have been opened and 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas. The district administration has sought the support of the National Disaster Response Force following multiple incidents of landslips in the rural areas of Kozhikode.

Col Ajai Sharma, the Commandant of DSC Centre, who is overseeing relief and rescue operations, said five columns of Army has been deployed in the northern districts since last night.

The Navy has put on alert its Southern Naval Command in view of the rising water level in Periyar river in Kerala and a possible inundation of parts of Wellingdon Island, surrounded by the backwaters of Kochi.

State officials said 53,501 people were now housed in 439 relief camps across the state, PTI reported.

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People stand on the steps of Aluva Shiva Temple complex submerged in water after the opening of Idamalayar dam shutter following heavy rains, on the outskirts of Kochi, India, August 9, 2018.

Tincy, a panchayat member said as prior warning about the release of water had been issued, any kind of human casualty was avoided. At least 50 tourists, including 24 foreigners, stranded at the Plum Judy resort at Munnar since Wednesday, have been rescued, said state Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said. He said he would conduct an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas on Saturday.

He is accompanied by revenue minister E Chandrasekharanand Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala.

The chopper could not land in Kattapana due to bad climatic conditions in the morning. He tweeted, "Unprecedented rainfall has created havoc in Kerala, destroying property & forcing thousands to abandon their homes".

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The deaths included 11 in Idukki, five in Malapuram, three in Wayanad, two each in Kannur and Ernakulam, and one in Kozhikode.

Idukki has received 129.80 mm rainfall.With water levels rising in various dams and reaching nearly maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water. This will raise the water level in Periyar river and its subsidiaries.

"Since heavy rains have led to widespread loss and destruction, we call upon all to donate to the Chief Minister's Fund", Vijayan said. All teams have diving equipments, boats and are ready to help the public, " Commander Sridhar Warrier PRO (Defence) was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The state of Kerala had seen good Monsoon rains with a few heavy spells on some occasions as well, unlike past year when it remained rain deficient.

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Tourists have been barred from entering the hilly Idukki district after roads caved in at many places. Bridges have been constructed to evacuate stranded people in various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad areas, and rescue operations are now underway.

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