Respite for Kerala as rains abate for second day on Tuesday

Respite for Kerala as rains abate for second day on Tuesday
A man wades through a flood affected area during heavy rainfall, in Kochi, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Kochi: With a let-up in the downpour, the water receded in many low-lying areas of rain-ravaged central Kerala on Tuesday.

There was no red alert (over 20 cm rainfall) warning in any of the state's 14 districts as the intensity of rains decreased and the affected areas started limping back to normalcy, although hundreds of the flood-hit people are still housed in relief camps, particularly in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam districts.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast very heavy rainfall in isolated areas in the state, prompting the authorities to sound orange alert (6 cm-20 cm rains) in eight districts-- Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod districts.

Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has warned about the possibilities of landslides in the hilly areas already hit by extremely heavy rainfall in the past few days and directed people living in the region and government authorities to be vigilant.

Respite for Kerala as rains abate for second day on Tuesday

As many as 686 relief camps have been set up in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol and 22,830 people have been sheltered there, Vijayan, who had also participated in a video conference held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with chief ministers of five other flood-affected states, detailed the steps taken by Kerala to face the monsoon fury.

Meanwhile, the water level at Mullaperiyar reservoir in Idukki district reached 136.55 feet on Monday evening.

The Idukki District Collector had held discussions with the Collector of Theni in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, with regard to the release of water through the tunnel to Vaigai dam when the water level touched the 136-feet mark.

The Kerala government had on Saturday asked the Tamil Nadu government, which has control over operation and maintenance of the dam, to release water from Mullaperiyar to Vaigai Dam in a phased manner when the water level reached 136 feet in view of heavy rains in Idukki.

Six shutters of the Pamba dam, which were opened on Sunday evening after its water level rose near the permissible limit, were shut on Monday, reducing concerns of flood downstream.

Respite for Kerala as rains abate for second day on Tuesday

Officials said there was a 30 to 40 cm rise in water level in Pamba but the river did not overflow its banks.

They said the shutters of the dams were closed after bringing down the water level in the dam to 982.8 metres.

The dam's maximum water level is 986.332 metres.

Low-lying areas in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts of Kerala continued to experience a flood-like situation with water surging following downpour, although there was a respite from rains since Monday.

(With inputs from agencies)