Kerala floods: Red alert issued in Idukki; Army deployed, Navy on alert

RSTV Bureau
A view of houses submerged in water following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Palakkad in Kerala on Thursday, Aug 9, 2018. (PTI Photo)

A view of houses submerged in water following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Palakkad in Kerala on Thursday, Aug 9, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Red alert has been issued for Idukki and its adjoining districts in a flood-hit Kerala in a view of the possibility of release of more water from the Idukki reservoir. Tourists were stopped from entering the district after roads caved in at many places.

Five columns of Army has been deployed in the state’s northern districts since last night, and small bridges have been constructed to evacuate people stranded at various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad.

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

So far 26 people have lost their lives since August 10 in landslides and floods caused due to torrential rains as the South-west monsoon  remains vigorous over Kerala.

The Centre on Friday assured the Kerala government of all possible assistance for the rescue and relief operations required in the state after the flood fury have claimed many lives.

The assurance was given by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a telephonic conversation.

“Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the prevailing flood situation in the state. I have assured all possible assistance from the Centre to the state government. The relief and rescue ops are going on. MHA is closely monitoring the flood situation,” Singh tweeted.

Rajnath Singh also gave his assurance to the MPs from the state in the Lok Sabha that government will come to an aid to flood-hit Kerala.

Singh said he had also sent Kiren Rijiju, his deputy in the ministry, to the state for a survey of the affected areas.

People stranded at a flooded junction following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Palakkad in Kerala on Thursday, Aug 9, 2018. (PTI Photo)

People stranded at a flooded junction following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Palakkad in Kerala on Thursday, Aug 9, 2018. (PTI Photo)

“We will provide all necessary assistance to the state,” Singh told the MPs from Kerala during the Zero Hour.

CPI(M) leader P Karunakaran said six districts in the state have been badly affected. At least 20 people have died in the Idukki district due to heavy rains and floods, while five people lost their lives in Wayanad, he said demanding military assistance.

K C Venugopal (Congress) said Wayanad district in the state has been cut off from the rest of Kerala due to landslides.

Aluva Mahadeva Temple is seen submerged in the water following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Kochi in Kerala on Thursday, Aug 9, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Aluva Mahadeva Temple is seen submerged in the water following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Kochi in Kerala on Thursday, Aug 9, 2018. (PTI Photo)

“For the first time, shutters of 22 dams were opened to release excess water while water from the Idukki reservoir was also released after 26 years, flooding the Periyar River,” Venugopal said and demanded a special financial package for the state.

Kerala has been pounded due to heavy downpour, resulting in the swelling of rivers and flooding in several parts.

(With agency inputs)