Kerala rains : Tourists stranded at Munnar resort after landslides

Munnar, Aug 10 : More than 60 foreign tourists are stranded at a private resort in Idukki’s Pallivasal in Kerala, located near Munnar after a landslide disrupted traffic in the area.

Sixty nine tourists, including some foreigners, have been stranded at the resort for the past two days.The roads leading to the resort are blocked due to landslides .

Incessant torrential rain in Kerala and subsequent flash floods and landslides compelled the state authorities to issue third red alert for the Idukki water reservoir, the shutters of Cheruthoni dam on Idukki were opened for the first time in the history of the state in 26 years.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the Centre will provide all possible assistance to Kerala for controlling the flood situation in the state.

At least 26 people have been killed so far in Kerala, including 11 in high-range Idukki in landslides as rain continued to pound the southern state.

The United States consulate in Chennai had issued a travel alert and advised the US citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flashfloods.

Singh told the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour that he tried speaking to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan “but it could not happen”.

Earlier after July floods, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had toured various flood-hit districts of Kerala. The Centre had then approved Rs 80 crore for flood relief in the state.

“We have already deployed Army, Navy and other central armed forces in Kerala and the state government and the ministries are jointly working in this regard,” Rijiju earlier said.

According to state Power Minister M.M. Mani who hails from Idukki, so far three shutters of the Idukki dam has been opened till Friday.

The Army is taking part in rescue-relief and damage control exercises in Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts.

The army, the navy, the air force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is working aggresively on evacuation and relief operations after shutters of one the dams of the Idukki reservoir,Asia’s highest arch dam, have been opened after the water level crossed the danger mark of 2,403, the government on Thursday thought prudent to open one of the five shutters of the connected Cheruthoni dam by 50 cms.

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