Avoid Kerala, US tells citizens as rains, landslides kill 26 in state

KERALA: The US on Friday issued an advisory, asking its citizens not to visit Kerala because of the flash floods in the state that have killed 26 people.

The advisory said, "Avoid all areas throughout Kerala affected by landslides and flash floods."

The death toll rose to 26 forcing authorities to open two more of the five sluice gates of the Idukki dam Friday morning to release excess water.

Gushing water from the dam inundated many areas downstream although human casualty was restricted to an extend due to good planning, a senior revenue official said. .

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the situation as "very grim".

With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost their maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in Kerala have been opened to drain out excess water.

Heavy rains for the past two days and release of water from the Idamalayar dam Thursday, resulted in localised flooding in low-lying areas in the northern districts of Kerala.

The flood water also triggered landslides at some places washing away houses.


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