Nearly 70 dead as flood bring Kerala to standstill, schools shut today – UKMALAYALEE

Nearly 70 dead as flood bring Kerala to standstill, schools shut today

Thursday 16 August 2018 2:29 AM UTC

Thiruvananthapuram Aug 16: The death toll in Kerala has climbed to 67 as the state is reeling under one of the worst floods in history.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that the rain fury claimed 25 lives on Wednesday, More than 1.5 lakh people have been lodged in relief across the state, Vijayan said, adding that the heavy rains would continue for some more days, which will further worsen the situation.

 For the first time in history, the state has opened 35 of its 39 dams. Meanwhile, operations at the Cochin International Airport have been suspended till 2 pm on Saturday due to flooding in and around the airport. A red alert has been issued in all the 14 districts of the state.

Spelling more trouble for Kerala, the Tamil Nadu government opened the sluice gates of the Mullaperiyar dam at 2.30 am on Wednesday to release excess water from the reservoir.

A government release said Vijayan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the grave situation the state was facing following the rains.

The prime minister has assured all help, it said. The prime minister has taken a “positive stand” towards the state on relief measures, Vijayan told reporters.

Train services have been disrupted and road transport services are in disarray with stretches of roads coming under water. Officials said a holiday has been declared for educational institutions in all districts barring Kasaragod tomorrow while colleges and universities have postponed exams.

As the situation became grave, the state government sought the help of more teams of army personnel, National Disaster Response Force and Army Engineering.