High alert on the banks of Periyar, water reaches flood-prone Aluva, Kaladi regions

The swollen Chalakudy River at Pariyaram near Viripara in Thrissur. Photo: Josekutty Panackal

Idukki: As a precautionary measure in view of the torrential rains in Kerala the Idukki dam shutters were opened on Tuesday at 11am. The shutter number three of the Cheruthoni dam which forms part of the Idukki dam was opened by 35 cm first in order to regulate the water level. The shutters number two was opened at 12pm and shutter number four was opened at 12:30pm

The places falling on the banks of Periyar river has been put on high alert as the water from the dam is expected to reach flood-prone areas of Aluva and Kaladi by Tuesday evening.

The Idamalayar and Pamba dams were opened on Tuesday morning. The two shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened 80 cm at 6am and the two shutters of Pamba dam were opened by 5am.

KSEB Chairman B Ashok has said that only one tenth of the water released in 2018 is being released now and there was no need for panic.

He said the water is being released now to avoid opening all the dams together later when the rain intensifies.

In another development, the two shutters of Kakki-Aanathodu dam in Pathanamthitta were opened by 60cm height. There might be a rise in water level in places situated on the banks of the Pamba River, especially in Kuttanad, Kozhencherry, Ranni and Chengannur, due to the release of the water.

Orange alert in 11 districts on Wednesday
The weather experts are expecting heavy rain from Wednesday, October 20. Heavy rain is expected to continue till October 24.

Heavy rain is unlikely on Tuesday, the Met predicted. However, a Yellow alert has been declared in Palakkad, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts for Tuesday.

As heavy to very heavy rains are expected in isolated places in 11 districts of Kerala, the weather department has issued an Orange alert in Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts.

On Thursday, October 21, an Orange alert will be in place in 12 districts except Kannur and Kasaragod.

(As per the Met standards, a Red alert denotes heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while Orange alert signifies very heavy rains of 6 cm to 20 cm of rains. A Yellow alert, on the other hand, denotes heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm.)

Eastern winds
Even if there is no formation of low-pressure over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, eastern winds intensify rain. Though a low-pressure phenomenon is now forming in the Bay of Bengal above West Bengal and Odisha coasts, it is unlikely to have much impact on Kerala now.

Water level rising in Kuttanad
The water level in the Pamba and Achankovil rivers decreased on Monday. But the water levels in Lower Kuttanad and Upper Kuttanad areas have gone up due to the gush of water from the eastern hilly areas. The authorities started shifting people living in low-lying areas in Kuttanad to safer places. The help of the police is being utilised in many places to carry out the shifting process.

Kerala rain fury | Shutters of Idamalayar, Pampa dams opened, Cheruthoni to be opened at 11am
Idamalayar dam shutters opened.

A single shutter of the Sholayar dam was opened on Monday. The situation is under control though the quantum of water in Athirapally Waterfalls and the Chalakudy River have gone up considerably.

Dams in Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad districts
Earlier, the Neyyar Dam in the Thiruvananthapuram district was opened by 120 cm. But with the intensity of the rain going down, the shutters were lowered by 40 cm. Though the shutters in Parappar dam in Thenmala were opened by 1.60 m, they were lowered to 1.40 m by Monday afternoon.

The water from the dams in Pothundy, Kanjirapuzha, Chulliyar, Malampuzha and Mangalam in the Palakkad district are also being released as part of precautionary measures.

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