Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 25 people died in rain-related incidents in the state on Wednesday, taking the toll to 67 since August 8, PTI reported. The India Meteorological Department issued a red alert for the entire state of Kerala for the next 24 hours. Heavy rain also forced authorities to close Kochi international airport for four days after the water level increased. Rainfall continued across the state on Wednesday, taking the toll to 47 since Friday. Eighteen people died on Wednesday alone.
The weather department has warned of heavy rain accompanied with gusty winds with a speed up to 60 km per hour in all the 14 districts of the state, PTI reported.
The southern state was on the edge on Tuesday after the Tamil Nadu government informed it that it may release water from the Mullaperiyar dam because of the rising water level there too. All the 13 shutters of the dam were opened at 2.45 am when the water level touched 140 feet. Three shutters were closed after an hour.
Here are the day’s developments:
7.43 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asks Home Minister Rajnath Singh to send additional teams of Army, National Disaster Response Force and Army Engineering Corps to the state. Vijayan also asks Singh to send a C-17 aircraft to transport equipment to the affected areas. Kerala asks the Centre to provide more dinghy boats too.
7.30 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says 25 people died in rain-related incidents on Wednesday alone, taking the toll to 67 since August 8. Of the 25 deaths reported on Wednesday, eleven were from Malappuram.
6.59 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan requests his Tamil Nadu counterpart, EK Palaniswami, to intervene and reduce the water level of Mullaperiyar Dam to 139 feet. The water level at the dam reached 142 feet, the reservoir’s maximum capacity, earlier on Wednesday.
“It must be done urgently in the interest of the security of the dam,” Vijayan says.
6.40 pm: Indian Air Force helicopter leaves Thiruvananthapuram to rescue 35 people stranded in Pathanamthitta district’s Ayiroor.
6 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the central government is ready to provide the state any assistance it needs and “stands firmly with the people of Kerala. Modi says he has spoken to the chief minister.
5.33 pm: A state government spokesperson says Kerala will request the Ministry of Civil Aviation for permission to allow smaller aircraft to land at the Cochin International Airport, PTI reports. The official says the state will request the ministry to for permission to reroute flights scheduled to fly out of Kochi to the airports in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram.
5.06 pm: TVS Motor Company announces a contribution of Rs 1 crore towards the flood relief work in Kerala, NDTV reports. German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday announces a donation of Rs 30 lakh towards Kerala’s flood relief from the company and its dealer partners.
“TVS Motor believes in supporting the communities around us especially in difficult times,” Srinivasan Services Trust Chief Executive Officer Swaran Singh says.
5.04 pm: Four National Disaster Response Force teams have been airlifted from Pune Airport to Kerala to assist in rescue operations, ANI reports. They are equipped with full-wave rectified equipment and communication equipment.
4.45 pm: Entry to tourist spots like Peechi dam, Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls, and Vilangan Hills in Thrissur district will remain closed till further orders, reports The Hindu.
4.39 pm: Teams of National Disaster Response Force are helping with rescue operations.
4.20 pm: Eight people killed as house collapses in Malappuram district, reports Hindustan Times.
4.10 pm: Kochi Metro Rail Limited cancels Onam celebrations on Friday. All KMRL employees will donate a day’s salary to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, reports The Indian Express.
3.57 pm: Thirty-five reservoirs in Kerala are releasing water presently, says the Chief Minister’s Office.
3.52 pm: District Collector BS Thirumeni declares holiday for schools and colleges in Kottayam district on Thursday. Educational institutions in Kozhikode, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad and Thrissur districts will also have a holiday on Thursday.
Cochin University of Science and Technology postpones exams scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Kannur University postpones exams scheduled for Thursday.
3.43 pm: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the government’s priority is to get drinking water to the people. Most water treatment plants are submerged in flood water, reports ANI.
“The rain will continue for the next four days too and we all need to be careful,” says Vijayan.
3.40 pm: Four teams of National Disaster Response Force from Pune are heading to Kerala to assist in rescue operations.
3.37 pm: Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar says the government will take necessary steps to manage the water level in Mullapperiyar dam as per the law, reports The Indian Express.
3.33 pm: Travancore Devaswom Board issues a warning to Sabarimala pilgrims not to visit the shrine until further notice, reports Mathrubhumi. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has stopped bus services to Pampa.
3.28 pm: The Indian Navy sets up a camp in Aluva region to coordinate rescue operations, reports Hindustan Times.
3.25 pm: Malappuram District Collector Amit Meena declares a holiday for all educational institutions on Thursday. Ernakulam district administration announces a holiday for all educational institutions on Thursday and Friday, reports The Hindu.
3.20 pm: Sluice gates of Kanjirapuzha dam in Palakkad district will be opened on Wednesday. Residents living on the banks of the Bharatapuzha river and its tributaries have been advised to stay alert, reports The Hindu.
3.15 pm: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation suspends bus services from Bengaluru to Kerala’s Kannur, Kozhikode and Kasaragod districts.
3.10 pm: Water level in the Mullaperiyar Dam touches 142 feet – the reservoir’s maximum capacity, reports Mathrubhumi.
3.05 pm: The toll has risen to 47, reports PTI.
3.00 pm: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the state government will explore the possibility of landing smaller aircraft at the old airport in Willingdon Island, reports The Indian Express.
He said all agencies concerned have been put on alert since heavy rainfall is expected across the state over the next four days.
2.48 pm: India Meteorological Department issues a red alert in the entire state of Kerala.
2.40 pm: Rescue operations are under way in parts of Kochi.
2.22 pm: As many as 17,974 people have been shifted to 117 relief camps in Ernakulam district, reports ANI.
2.19 pm: The Kerala government asks the Centre to urgently send more forces to flood-affected areas. Relief camps in Idukki are affected by flood waters.
2.16 pm: Kerala Electricity Minister MM Mani tells reporters in Idukki that Tamil Nadu released water on Tuesday night before it reached 142 feet.
1.56 pm: All the 13 shutters of Mullapperiyar dam have been opened once again.
1.48 pm: From Kasaragod in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south, all rivers are in spate. Shutters of several dams, including Mullaperiyar, have been opened.
1.40 pm: After flights to Kochi have been diverted to Thiruvananthapuram, the state transport corporation starts special services for passengers to travel to Kochi by road.
1.03 pm: An aircraft of Saudi Airlines meant to ferry Haj pilgrims from Kochi airport has landed in Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, reports The Hindu.
1.01 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation at Mullapperiyar dam. He said he will talk to his Tamil Nadu counterpart to request him to release more water from Mullapperiyar dam to the Tamil Nadu side.
12.54 pm: The Kerala government launches website to offer updates and necessary help to flood victims. One can request for help or volunteer for relief work here.
12.49 pm: The toll rises to 45, reports The Indian Express.
12.27 pm: Water logging in parts of Trivandrum city after heavy rainfall.
12.15 pm: All Air India Express flights from Cochin will operate from Thiruvananthapuram, a spokesperson of the national carrier says, according to the Hindustan Times.
12.14 pm: Barring Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram, a red alert has been issued in 12 of the 14 districts in Kerala. Heavy rainfall is expected in these districts.
12.10 pm: Indian Railways has cancelled a few trains including Nagercoil-Kochuveli, Kollam-Punalur passenger, Kollam-Senkottai passenger and Kollam-Edaman passenger, reports The Indian Express. Some trains have been partially cancelled. Trains like Guruvayur-Chennai Egmore Express, Kanniyakumari-Mumbai CSMT Express, Dibrugarh-Kanniyakumari Vivek Express and Gandhidham-Tirunelveli Humsafar Express are running late.
12.03 pm: The water level at Mullaperiyar dam has almost reached 142 feet. Those within 100 metres of the Periyar river have been asked to move to safer areas immediately.
11.43 am: Of the state’s dams, 33 have been opened to release water. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation.
11.41 am: The police have advised people living along Periyar river to move to safer locations, reports The Indian Express.
11.34 am: Train services have been disrupted at many places after the floods. The rail service between Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari is among those that have been suspended, reports the Hindustan Times.
11.26 am: The toll in rain-related incidents across Kerala rises to 44, according to PTI.
11.15 am: The airport’s decision came a day after a Kuwait Airways aircraft landed precariously at the airport, damaging a few runway lights, reports The New Indian Express. Heavy rain had drastically brought down the visibility due to which the aircraft could not keep its alignment with centre line correctly.
11.10 am: Operations at Kochi airport have been suspended till Saturday 2 pm, reports ANI. Flights are being diverted to other airports. “We are working hard to drain out the storm water. All are requested to cooperate,” an airport spokesperson tells PTI.
11.05 am: Reports of landslides have come in from Malappuram and Munnar in Idukki.