In a breather for Keralites, the heavy rains predicted in the state did not happen since Friday night, leading to the receding of Idukki dam waters that had ravaged the area over the last few days.
State Power Minister M.M. Mani said on Saturday that the rains have slowed down in and around the Idukki dam since Friday night and hence the water level in the dam has also come down.
"So far things are fine and everything is going as planned. The water that came down the five floodgates, barring at Cheruthoni, has not caused any major crisis," he added.
Cheruthoni is the nearest town to the Idamalayar dam and with water gushing down the spillway for the first time in 26 years, there was heavy flooding in the area.
The Cheruthoni bridge continued to be submerged. It had come under severe stress with huge trees that have been uprooted coming and hitting the bridge.
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.
On Saturday, the inflow into the dam stood at 6,00,000 litres of water per second, while the outflow through the floodgates is 7.50 lakh litres per second.
Authorities on Friday expected that parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts would be submerged following the opening of all five floodgates.
However, this did not happen as the dam water entered the tributaries of the Periyar river in a systematic manner.
According to informed sources, if the water level in the dam comes down to 2,400 feet, it was likely to bring down the outflow through the five shutters as well -- to around 5,00,000 litres per second.
On Saturday morning, a team led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accompanied by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, State Forest Minister P. Raju, Chief Secretary Tom Jose and Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behra took off in a helicopter from Thiruvananthapuram to survey the worst affected districts.
Even though their first stop was planned at Idukki, Vijayan wrote in his Facebook post that due to bad weather conditions at the landing area in Kattapana, they have been forced to travel to Wayanad.
The floods have claimed 29 lives so far and around 54,000 people have been left homeless.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is slated to visit the state on August 12.
Kerala CM Vijayan announces ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh to kin of victims
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday announced ex-gratia payment of Rs four lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lives in the devastating floods that has hit the state.
The floods have claimed 29 lives so far. The deaths were reported from Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts since the rains came down heavily since Wednesday.
Vijayan made the announcement while presiding over a review meeting called held here to discuss the loss and destruction caused due to the heavy rains over the past four days.
Rahul Gandhi writes to PM, seeks sufficient funds for Kerala
Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking sufficient funds for the state to restore normalcy.
Gandhi said said the torrential rains, floods and wide scale landslides had left behind an "unprecedented trail of destruction across Kerala".
Describing the floods as the most severe disaster to strike the state in the last five decades, Gandhi said: "At this juncture, it is critical to acknowledge the looming humanitarian crisis facing Kerala.
"I am hopeful that the government would cooperate with the state government in the massive relief and rehabilitation efforts underway.
"I request you to release sufficient funds immediately to the state government, to enable the state to respond effectively, and work towards restoring critical infrastructure."
(With IANS inputs)