“Situation is highly alarming,” CM Pinarayi Vijayan said at an emergency press meet convened after unprecedented rains in Kerala.

Unprecedented situation Kerala CM takes stock as heavy rains lash the state
news Kerala rains Thursday, August 09, 2018 - 13:12

After extremely heavy rainfall caused unprecedented damage to life and property in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called for an emergency press meet. 

The CM took stock of the situation in the state and talked about the measures the centre and the state government were taking to deal with the crisis and listed precautionary measures that are to be taken by the people. 

The shutters of 22 dams in the state have already been opened to deal with the heavy rainfall. “I don’t think this has ever happened in the state,” the CM noted.  

Acknowledging that unprecedented rains had caused severe damage in several districts of Kerala, Pinarayi said, “If the situation persists, the Idukki and Kakki dams may be opened.” Shortly after the press meeting, the sluice gates of Idukki dam were opened after 26 years for a trial run.

Rescue and preparedness

Talking about the rescue operations and preparedness, Pinarayi said that service of the army, air force and military assistance had been sought. “Assistance of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been sought,” he added. 

“The Centre has already put a team in Kuttanad. The state government has held discussions with the team. Coordination of various departments will be ensured in disaster management,” he said. 

The CM also urged more people to come forward and contribute to the state government’s disaster management fund. “Many have been contributing to the disaster management fund of government, but the government requests more people to come forward for this,” he said. 

Death toll

The CM said that so far, 20 deaths have been reported in total. The rains have left six dead in Malappuram, two in Kozhikode, 11 in Idukki, and another two in Wayanad. 

“Situation is highly alarming. As we speak, measures are being taken to open Idukki dam. The shutters won't be fully open, only a small portion of water will be released,” Pinarayi assured. 

Precautions

Advising people to be cautious, the Kerala CM listed the following precautions. 

“People should avoid going to the dam project areas. If they don't cooperate voluntarily, they won't be allowed to enter the areas,” he said. “Tourists also should be cautious.” 

He also announced that the Nehru Trophy boat race has been postponed and the new dates would be announced later. 

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