As rain fury continues, Kerala fears repeat of 2018 floods
The Kerala Government Saturday sounded a red alert at Idukki dam, which is filling up fast in the wake of heavy inflow coupled with the increased discharge from Mullaperiyar dam.
The water level at the dam reached 2382.50 ft on Saturday morning as against the full reservoir level of 2403 ft. The district administrations in Idukki and Ernakulam have asked people living on the banks of the Periyar River, including the sub-urban Kochi region, to remain alert in the event of increased water outflow from the dam.
On Friday afternoon, Tamil Nadu had lifted three shutters of Mullaperiyar dam where water level had reached 137 ft, to release 534 cusecs of water to Periyar river in Kerala, which eventually flows to Idukki dam. However, as inflow remained robust, Tamil Nadu lifted seven more shutters of Mullaperiyar and increased the outflow to 2,122 cusecs on Friday night. Thus, water level at Mullaperiyar went up to 138.10 ft on Saturday at 9 am.
By discharging water from Idukki dam before the mark reaches the full reservoir level (FRL) of 2,403 ft, the government is looking to avert a repeat of the devastating floods of 2018. A delay in releasing water from Idukki and other reservoirs had been cited as one of the reasons for the widespread damage.
The state government has sounded an alert in the downstream areas, including suburban areas of Kochi, and has started evacuating families that could be affected by the likely flash floods.
Elsewhere in Kerala, water level in most rivers is falling as rain has stopped. However, the Met Department has predicted heavy showers till August 9.
The Meteorological Department added that a low-pressure area is likely to form over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal around August 7. Besides, a shear zone exists over south peninsular India between 5.8 km and 7.6 km above mean sea level tilting southwards with height.