Kerala: Tourists, heavy vehicles banned in Idukki; US issues travel advisory

25 people have been killed in rain and flood-related accidents in Kerala

PTI8_9_2018_000293B A view of houses submerged in water following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Palakkad in Kerala | PTI

Roads in hilly areas of Idukki will remain shut to tourist and heavy vehicular traffic till further orders in the wake of the incessant rain. Idukki district disaster management authority and the district collector issued an order in this regard under the Section 34 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, after heavy rain battered the hilly district.

Tourist vehicles and other non-essential traffic should be avoided as the roads were at a risk of caving in due to landslips.

Now, three shutters of the Cheruthoni dam of the Idukki reservoir have been opened after its water level shot up past the red alert level of 2,399 feet.

On Thursday, 24 dams across Kerala were opened as the reservoir levels were nearing full capacity.

The northern districts of Palakkad and Malappuram and the hilly districts of Wayanad and Idukki were reeling under floods.

Meanwhile, the US on Thursday issued an advisory, asking its citizens not to visit Kerala because of the flash floods in the state.

In the advisory, the US said the heavy southwest monsoon rains triggered landslides and floods in the state, and American citizens should avoid visiting all affected areas in the state.

"Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods," it read.

(With agency inputs)