Respite for Kerala as rains subside; yellow alert in four districts

Representational Image
Representational Image

Thiruvananthapuram: After days of incessant downpour, Kerala on Friday got some respite as rains subsided in many parts and Saturday is looking more or less the same.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has sounded a yellow alert in only four of the fourteen districts in Kerala - Idukki, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod.

A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while an orange alert means very heavy rains of 6 cm to 20 cm.

A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 and 11 cm.

What perhaps concerns the Kerala government is the slow, but steady rise in water levels of various dams in the central and north Kerala districts.

On Friday, it had forced authorities to raise a few shutters of half a dozen dams to release excess water.

Ten shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam, managed by the Tamil Nadu government, were raised by 30 centimetres each by Friday evening as the water level in the 126-year-old reservoir touched over 137 feet.

Currently, the water level is at 137.85 and as of now, 2,096 cusecs of water was being released.

The authorities have warned the people residing downstream along the banks of the Periyar river to remain cautious.

Meanwhile, the water level at the Idukki dam has reached 2,381.52 feet which was 82.06 per cent of its full reservoir level (FRL) prompting the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which manages the dam, to issue an Orange alert.

Orange alert is issued when water level reaches 2,381.53 feet. Red alert will be issued once the water level reaches 2,382.53 feet. The FRL of Idukki dam is 2,403 feet.

The Idukki reservoir consists of two dams, the Arch dam and the Cheruthoni dam. The shutters of Cheruthoni dam were opened for the first time in 26 years in 2018, to mitigate the worst flood faced by the state in a century.

Meanwhile, one more person died taking the death toll to 20 in the state since July 31.

The State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) said a total of three people are still missing while four have been injured in the recent rain fury.

A holiday was declared for schools and educational institutions in various districts these past few days in view of the rains.

There are 11 NDRF teams, one column of Army and two DSC teams in the state.

There are 342 active camps across the state with Thrissur and Pathanamthitta having the most numbers, 88 and 69, respectively. A total of 12,195 people are accommodated in these camps, SDMA said.

It also added that 36 houses were fully damaged while 282 houses were destroyed partially in the state.

Earlier in the day, State Revenue Minister K Rajan told the media that the IMD has predicted the rains will now move to southern Karnataka. "Today, the rain alerts are in the northern districts of Kerala," he said. 

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