Thiruvananthapuram: The southwest monsoon continued to wreak havoc in the state, claiming 22 lives in the past 24 hours even as chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the situation as “extremely grave.”
According to reports, landslides and heavy rains killed 11 people in Idukki, five in Malappuram, three in Wayanad, two in Kannur and one in Kozhikode.
Two were reported missing in Idukki and one each in Palakkad and Malappuram.
The shutters of Cheruthony dam, part of the Idukki dam project, were opened as water level reached 2,398.99, but it continued to rise, and by the evening, it crossed the crucial 2,400 ft against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 2403 ft.
With water released from Cheruthony, Lower Periyar, Idamalayar and Bhoothathankettu flooding parts of Ernakulam district, the arrival of flights at Cochin International Airport had to be suspended for two hours from 1.10 pm.
The intensity of heavy rains could be gauged from the fact that the shutters of 24 dams where the water level had reached maximum storage level during the past 24 hours were raised. Four dams each in Idukki, Thrissur and five in Palakkad were opened.
It’s perhaps for the first time in the state that the shutters of so many dams have been opened together.
Mr Vijayan convened a high-level meeting at the Secretariat to review the rain situation.
Briefing media after the meeting, the chief minister said the rainfall this monsoon had occurred in the state like never before.