Kerala rains: All shutters opened at Idukki dam

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The rescue worker who saved the child is now being hailed by the social media users.

At the same time, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has cancelled all his public functions till August 12 and will monitor the situation.

Shibu, a relief official, said Friday almost 200 army soldiers joined rescue workers in the worst-hit Ayannkulu, Idukki and Wayanad areas.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority's (NDMA) situation report, since the beginning of the monsoon season 14 districts in the state have been affected by floods comprising over 2,000 villages.

In what has come as slight relief for the people of Kerala, the water levels at the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki has decreased by half a feet on Saturday morning.

On Thursday, the administration was compelled to open the sluice gates of Cheruthoni dam on Idukki reservoir, for the first time in 26 years as the inundation was so severe.

All five shutters of Cheruthoni dam remain open. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has directed Chief Secretary TM Vijayabhaskar to send relief material worth Rs.10 crore and a team of doctors to Kerala.

Father Jose Plachikkal, spokesman for the worst-affected Idukki Diocese, said Church people have joined local authorities in accommodating people displaced by floods, landslides and the opening of the dams.

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Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh said he spoke to Vijayan and "assured all possible assistance from the Centre" to the Kerala government. "Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods", said the advisory, as reported by The Hindu.

As many as 60 tourists, including 20 foreigners, who were stranded at a private resort in Munnar in Kerala's Idukki district, have been rescued.

The discharge of water through spillway from the Idamalayar dam was progressively brought down from 500 cumecs to 400 cumecs on Friday morning with the water level in the reservoir and the FRL also getting narrowing down.

The opening of the dam shutters had resulted in an increase in the water level in the Periyar river.

"The situation is grim, especially in the coastal parts of Kerala, given the continuous rains", P.H. Kurian, State Relief Commissioner and Convenor of KSDMA told Reuters. "At least 4,000 people living in low-lying areas have been evacuated to relief camps".

Also, the death toll reached to 29 in the flood-hit state on Friday, as three more people died.

Meanwhile, the United States had issued a travel alert and advised the U.S. citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flash floods. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity", Modi tweeted.