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Singh also spoke with Vijayan, and will make an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas on Sunday. The visit will start from 7 30 in the morning.

He is accompanied by revenue minister E Chandrasekharanand Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala. A red alert has been issued for 8 districts- Idukki, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Kottayam, Alappuzha of the 14 districts in the state by the Indian Meteorological department.

The Navy has put on alert its Southern Naval Command in view of the rising water level in Periyar river in Kerala and a possible inundation of parts of Wellingdon Island, surrounded by the backwaters of Kochi.

As heavy rains continue to lash various parts of Kerala, worsening the flood situation in the state, the death toll has touched 29, following heavy floods and landslides. On Friday, rains continued to pound the hilly district of Idukki, even though the intensity of showers reduced in the rest of the state.

50 tourists stuck in Munnar More than 50 tourists, including 24 from overseas, are stranded in a resort in Munnar after the road leading to it was damaged in a landslide.

The United States consulate in Chennai issued a travel alert and advised the USA citizens to avoid visiting areas affected by landslides and flash flood. With water levels rising in various dams and reaching nearly maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water. "Thus, there is a need to open the shutters of many dams", the chief minister said.

The water level at the Idukki dam was now at 2,401 feet after it came down on Friday night as the intensity of the rains decreased. State officials said a total of 53,501 people are now housed in 439 relief camps across the state.

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

Two persons were pulled out alive from the debris by the locals and police in a nearby town, they said.

The situation also appeared to be slowly improving in and around Ernakulam and Thrissur where several people were rendered homeless due to incessant floods in the recent past.

"The Government of India is providing all the required assistance including services of armed forces, disaster management team and other required assistance".

Five columns of the Army have been deployed in the state's seven severely-hit northern districts to help evacuate people, and to build makeshift bridges.

"Wetland refilling, encroachment and unauthorized construction in river banks and conversion of paddy fields have affected the flow of water, leading to stagnation and flash floods", another official at KSDMA said on condition of anonymity.


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