Over 167 dead as water released from 33 dams soak Kerala

Torrential rains, overflowing rivers after authorities opened 33 reservoirs across the state and a series of landslides have resulted in the death of over 150 people in the state.

Unofficial reports have pegged the toll at around 167.
Thirty people died in rain-related incidents in Kerala on Thursday. In the last 24 hours, the state received 10 times the normal rainfall. There is no relief before Saturday, the Met office said.
From Kasargod in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south, all rivers are in spate and shutters of 33 reservoirs (out of a total of 39 in the state), including Mullaperiyar, have been opened.
Telecom operators have announced free calls and data, extension in bill payment due dates and other relief measures for subscribers in flood-hit Kerala, even as mobile and landline telephone services came to a standstill in most parts of the state.
Security forces engaged in relief operations have asked affected people to use alternative signals like torch lights or fires, since the telecom networks crumbled due to lack of electricity, rendering mobile phones ineffective.
Heavy rains continue to wreak havoc in Kerala and a red alert has been sounded across 12 districts of the state. The Kochi airport has been shut down till 26 August after heavy rains resulted in massive flooding.
The next four days are critical for the state as the Met has predicted heavy rainfall.
In a desperate plea for help, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought boats for flood relief across the state.
The Kochi airport has been shut down, and the army, the navy, the NDRF and other forces are working on rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of the Kerala floods. Food packets and drinking water are being rushed to Kerala for distribution among the people in 14 worst affected districts, while additional National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are also being sent to the state to assist the local administration in operations.
Telecom operators have announced free calls and data, extension in bill payment due dates and other relief measures for subscribers in flood-hit state of Kerala. Telecom major Bharti Airtel has offered Rs30 talk-time credit and free 1GB data for pre-paid customers for seven days.
Reliance Jio has announced free services for seven days while BSNL is offering unlimited free calls within its network and data services along with 100 SMS per day for a week to customers.