Kerala CM, other leaders survey the flooded areas

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

Some visuals from flood-affected areas of the coastal state.

Educational institutions have declared a holiday in Idukki, Kollam and some other districts due to the rains.

Almost 400 flood-affected people, including 85 children from Keerithod in Kanjikuzhy panchayat near Cheruthoni have been in a camp for the past two days as a precautionary measure after water was released from Idukki dam.

At 12:30 pm, the authority also opened the Cherutheni shutter of the Idukki dam as water levels (2399.56 feet) reached dangerously close to the full capacity mark (2,403 feet) for a trial run. Rescue and search operations continued in the state on Saturday, with the red alert being issued in 9 districts of the southern state.

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.

This is for the first time in the history that all the gates of the dam have been opened, underlying the gravity of the situation.

At least 60 tourists, that included 20 foreigners as well were rescued from the Plum Judy resort in Munnar where they had been stranded since Wednesday, state Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said. Home Minister Rajnath Singh is set to visit and make an aerial survey of flood-hit areas on Sunday while his deputy, Kiren Rijiju, has already been to the rain-battered state.

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The situation also appeared to be slowly improving in and around Ernakulam and Thrissur where several people were rendered homeless due to incessant floods in the recent past. Latest visuals of swollen Periyar river. However, this did not happen as the dam water entered the tributaries of the Periyar river in a systematic manner.

"The haphazard development along the streams has affected the natural flow of rivers, which is a challenge right now", he said. Kerala electricity minister M. M. Mani had hinted at the possibility of lifting more shutters in case water continues to rise.

The Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery resumed flight operations after it was halted as a precautionary measure after the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were opened.

More than 53,500 people were staying in various relief camps across the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with the Chief Minister yesterday in the wake of heavy rains and floods in the state, and offered all possible assistance to those affected.

Rajesh also went on to add that the main area to be affected by the shortage of power supply is the Palakkad town area because unlike the outskirts, the town does not have many facilities for water to subside.

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