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Heavy rain leaves trail of destruction in Kerala, 22 dead

Thiruvananthapuram : Heavy rain in Kerala on Thursday claimed 22 lives, leaving a trail of destruction across the southern state.With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost its maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water. According to Kerala State Emergency Operations Centre, 22 people have lost their lives due to heavy rain and landslides last night. Of the total deaths, 11 people died in a massive landslide in Idukki district, five in Malappuram district, three in Wayanad, two in Kannur and one in Kozhikode, an MHA spokesperson said. Two persons were pulled out alive from the debris by the locals and police, they said. For the first time in the last 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni dam of the Idukki reservoir, considered the biggest arch dam in Asia, was opened by noon today with the water level touching 2,398.98 ft.The full reservoir level (FRL) of the dam is 2,403 ft. Four shutters of the Idamalayar dam in Kochi district were opened this morning and people living in the banks of Periyar river and its other tributaries were asked to be vigilant as the released water was likely to inundate low-lying areas.

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