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33 dead, 54,000 homeless after rains hit Indian tourist hotspot

Staff Writer |
Congress President Rahul Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him for his government’s cooperation in the flood-ravaged areas of Kerala.

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The government of Kerala on Saturday said 33 people have been killed, while nearly 54,000 people have been left homeless due to incessant rains witnessed in the state over the last three days.

The water level in Kerala's Idukki dam further decreased on Sunday, 12 August, and now stands at 2,399.28 feet even as parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts still remain submerged.

Even as the water level of the dam was now below the 2,400 feet mark, district authorities said that the decision to close down the five floodgates will be taken at a later date depending on the amount of rains.

The army has been roped in for rescue efforts in Kerala after two days of heavy rain drove authorities to open the shutters of 27 reservoirs to drain out the excess water.

One of the five shutters of a large reservoir in the mountainous Idukki district was opened for the first time in 26 years.

More than a million foreign tourists visited Kerala in 2017, according to official data. The government of Kerala, which has a population of 33 million people, has imposed a ban on the movement of lorries and tourist vehicles in Idukki.

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