Heavy rains in Kerala on Thursday claimed 20 lives, leaving a trail of destruction across the state. With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost the maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs have been opened to drain out excess water. (Twitter/ANI)
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Of the total deaths, 11 people were killed in a massive landslide in high range Idukki, six in northern Malappuram district, two others in Kannur and one in Wayanad district since last night, the disaster control room source said. (Twitter/ANI)
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For the first time in 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni dam of the Idukki reservoir, considered the biggest arch dam in Asia, was opened by noon on Thursday with the water level touching 2,398.98 ft.
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Four shutters of the Idamalayar dam in Kochi district were opened on Thursday morning and people living in the banks of Periyar river and its other tributaries were asked to be vigilant as the released water was likely to inundate low-lying areas.
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The government issued high alerts across the state and asked tourists not to go to high range areas and dam sites.
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High range roads in Idukki and Wayanad were damaged due to landslips and uprooting of trees, causing traffic blocks.
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Educational institutions declared a holiday in Idukki, Kollam and other districts of the state.
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Many places in Palakkad town were also under flood water. A 24x7 monitoring cell has been set up at the state Secretariat to coordinate the relief works with various district collectors.
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Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the flood situation in the state was 'very grim' and it was for the first time in the history of the state that 22 dams have been opened at a time following the water level reaching its maximum capacity. (Twitter/ANI)
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The Chief Minister also said that there was a possibility of water level increasing in Kuttanad in the event of the Kakki reservoir lifting shutters.