Meanwhile, the United States had issued a travel alert and advised the USA citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flash floods. Two more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, the biggest arch dam in Asia, were also lifted.
Thousands of people in the low-lying areas are subject to evacuation orders as rescue teams batted mud, water and extreme conditions to search for the survivors stranded in their homes. Similarly, Kollam, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram and Wayanad districts received more than seven times their normal rain.
Continued copious inflows and intermittent spells of heavy rain have forced authorities to open the fifth shutter at the Cheruthoni dam, spillway for the Idukki reservoir, largest in Kerala, letting out 14,126 cusecs. Around 50 tourists, including 24 foreigners, who were trapped after a landslide near Plum Judy Resort at Pallivasal near Munnar were also rescued and moved to a safer place, PTIreported, quoting the state's Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran.
Several Kerala districts have been receiving heavy rain since Tuesday, claiming at least 27 lives and causing widespread damage.
"I urge each and every Congress worker in Kerala to step up and help those in need", Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted today.
The Indian Army and National Disaster Response Force of India have been deployed in affected areas in Idukki, Kozhikode, Waynad and Malappuram of Kerala to assist the civil administration in the rescue operations.
"Spoke to Kerala CM Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and discussed the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the state".
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At least 26 people have been killed in the state since Wednesday, said Shibu, who uses one name.
Of them, 25 died in landslides and four in drowning.
Days of incessant rain have led to raging floods across Kerala.
Due to the increase in water level at Idukki dam, Vijayan said "it is essential to release water three times [more] than what was being released now".
Idukki and Ernakulam districts were put on high alert, as heavy rainfall is predicted till Saturday. A total of 53,501 people are being sheltered in relief camps.
A press release from the Defence Wing of the Press Information Bureau said that Army and Air Force have swung into action for disaster relief and rescue operations in monsoon-battered Kerala.
Although Kerala on Friday got some relief due to lesser showers pounding it than has been over the last two days, the death toll rose to 27. Army soldiers are building small bridges to evacuate those stranded at various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad.