Idukki : 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. With the water level at the Idukki dam fast rising, all five shutters of the dam were also opened, Kerala Power Minister M.M. Mani said.

Five teams of the Army is taking part in rescue-relief and damage control exercises in Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. The minister said the shutters were only opened for a few hours to release the pressure and there was no reason for panic. Several districts in the state have been receiving heavy rains since Wednesday. Till Thursday 24 people had died, while three more deaths were reported on Friday.

M.M. Mani who hails from Idukki, told the media here that the decision to open the two more shutters of the Idamalayar dam was taken to prevent the water level from reaching its full strength of 2,403 metres. At 12.30 p.m. on Thursday, the water level crossed 2,399 metres, and one of the shutters was opened after a gap of 26 years.

In Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a review meeting with top officials and lauded the defence forces for their help. He also said that complete attention should now focus on rehabilitating people living in the low lying areas of Ernakulam district should it become necessary due to the water released from the Idukki dam.

The Cochin International Airport, which on Thursday had stopped incoming flights for two hours, on Friday said the operations were normal and there was nothing to be worried about.

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