Kerala: Rain weakening; Idukki dam shutters not to be raised further

Rescue operations resume, most people being airlifted

aluva Rescue efforts from Aluva | Josekutty Panackal

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has informed that the low pressure above the Bay of Bengal will move to the Madhya Pradesh region, bringing a much-needed respite to Kerala which has been reeling under heavy rainfall and floods. Ther intensity of the rain has weakened compared to the past two days in Ernakulam district. 

While rain intensity has seen a drop overnight, what is causing concern is the rising water level. Thrissur, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta are the worst affected districts. The death toll in the devastating floods has risen to 108 by Friday. 

With water levels continuing to rise in the downstream regions, it has been informed that more water will not be released from Idukki reservoir for now. The amount of water being released will be maintained at the current level of 1,500 cumecs. 

Authorities have informed that the dam shutters will be raised further only if the water level touches the reservoir's maximum capacity of 2403 feet. Currently, the Idukki reservoir is filled up to 2402.20 feet. 

Meanwhile, 13 districts of Kerala are still on red alert, while Kasaragod has been put on orange alert.

The Centre has deployed all three wings of the armed forces in a massive rescue operation. Fishermen have also been called to assist the Army and fire force in evacuation. Rescue operations resumed in the worst-affected Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha regions early on Friday morning. Situation in Chalakudy in Thrissur remains grim.

Power supply has been snapped in most areas and mobile networks are currently down. 

Torrential rain, overflowing rivers and a series of landslides have cut off vast swathes of land in Kerala. The Cochin International Airport has been shut till August 26. Rail traffic has also been drastically affected with several trains cancelled or rescheduled on Friday.