More than 50 tourists, including 24 from overseas, have been stranded in Idukki district of Kerala for the past two days as the road leading to their resort in Munnar was damaged in a landslide triggered by heavy rains.
Friday will be critical as the government has opened Idukki-Cheruthoni dam in Idukki district, which received 100mm rainfall in last 24 hours, as per local reports.
Looking at the heavy rain and the dams being opened Kochi airport has been shut down for arrivals amid fears that water will enter the airport area.
Earlier today, a trial run began at the dam - one sluice was opened. The Kerala Disaster Management Authority has issued a red alert in Wayanad district till August 14, according to Mathrubhumi.
People living downstream of Periyar and Cheruthoni rivers have been warned that there is a possibility of inundation of banks as torrential rain pounded the state for the second day in a row.
With several rivers in spate following the incessant rains, as many as 24 dams in different parts of the state have been opened in an "unprecedented" development.
With the shutters lifted, water in Periyar, the second largest river in the state, rose to unsafe levels.
A 47-year-old man drawing water was killed when the well caved in due to heavy rain at Palavila near Pirappancode on Friday morning. Today, two more gates of one of the dams of the reservoir were opened to control the swelling water which is nearing the full capacity. Around 2000 residents were moved to relief camps. But water levels in the reservoir continued to surge.
News agency PTI quoted unnamed state officials as saying that a total of 53,501 people were housed in 439 relief camps across the state.
He, however, pointed out that there could be problem at some places in Ernakulam and its nearby areas, as the water released from the Idamalayar dam could reach these places.
It has asked tourists not to go to high range areas and dam sites in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he has offered Vijayan all possible assistance. Now the United States of America government has advised its citizens not to visit Kerala keeping in mind the unsafe situation.
Three teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts while two more are expected shortly.The state government has sought six more NDRF teams, Vijayan told reporters after a review meeting in Thiruvananthapuram. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Kerala in the wake of this calamity", the PM said in a tweet.