MUNNAR: At least 60 tourists, including 20 foreigners, are stranded in a resort in Idukki’s Pallivasal, near popular hill station Munnar in Kerala. All roads to the resort were blocked following a landslide in the rain-battered state.
According to reports, the tourists have been stranded at the resort for two days. The army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed for rescuing the tourists.
The United States issued an advisory, asking its citizens not to visit Kerala because of the flash floods in the state. In the advisory issued on Friday, the US said the heavy southwest monsoon rains triggered landslides and floods in the state, and American citizens should avoid visiting all affected areas in the state.
"Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods," it read.
The death toll in the Kerala rains touched 26 on Friday morning after heavy downpour caused havoc in the state leading to a series of landslips in the hilly district of Idukki and northern parts. Large-scale damage has also been reported from various parts of the state.
The state has asked all the tourist activities in Idukki district be temporarily banned until further notice.
Asking people to stop panicking and spreading fake messages, the Kerala State Disaster Management (KSDM) authorities advised citizens against travelling to Vazhathopp, Mariyapuram, Kanjikkuzhi, Vathikudy and Konnathadi panchayaths of Idukki.
It further warned people against crossing the rivers after water is released from dams and to avoid crowding small bridges and river banks.
In an unprecedented development, shutters of 24 dams in different parts of the state have been opened.
Two more shutters of the Idukki dam were opened on Friday morning, increasing the water flow into the Periyar river to 125 cuses (1,25,000 litres/sec), reported ANI.
#Kerala: Two more shutters of Idukki dam were opened today morning, increasing the water flow into Periyar river to 125 cuses (1,25,000 ltres/sec); Visuals from Idduki dam and Idukki Dam catchment area pic.twitter.com/r3hGFUOgW4
— ANI (@ANI) August 10, 2018
All five shutters of Cheruthoni Dam have been also been opened with people in Cheruthoni town being evacuated. The bridge in the town, connecting north and south Idukki district, has been flooded due to incessant heavy rainfall in the region.
With agency inputs