20 killed in Kerala rains; CM seeks help
Heavy rains claimed 20 lives in Kerala. The Idukki dam's shutters opened for the first time in 26 years. The Kerala government on Thursday sought the help of the army, navy and the air force as torrential rain claimed 20 lives over the last 24 hours and forced authorities to open the shutters of Idukki reservoir, Asia's biggest arch dam, after 26 years to release excess water. The Kochi airport has suspended partial operations with flights not being allowed to land. The famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha has been cancelled, the chief minister announced. Among five shutters of Cheruthoni dam only a single shutter was partially opened to release 50,000 litres of water per second from the swollen reservoir, said a senior official of the district administration. The shutter will be closed after four hours. At least 3000 families living near catchment areas have been shifted to safer places.