Authorities in Kerala are releasing water from reservoirs – including the Idukki reservoir – the largest in the state and one of the highest arch dams in Asia – to ease risk of flooding and damage following record-breaking rainfall in the state.
Irrigation Minister Roshi Augustine said water (100 cumecs of water / one lakh litre per second) from the Idukki reservoir was let out at 11am on Tuesday (October 19) into Periyar River.
The authorities issued a blue alert at Idukki over the weekend following increase in water level.
Kerala has experienced heavy rains and low pressure in the past three consecutive years. As of October 19, 12 major dams have been opened, according to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority.
— S. Anandan (@Anandans76) October 19, 2021
Local residents towing a KSRTC bus which got stuck in flood at Poonjar on Saturday. No loss of life.Heavy rain lashes #Kerala triggering floods and inundating several areas.#REDALERT in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki & Thrissur. 4 shutters of Malampuzha dam opened. pic.twitter.com/D1dbOtEqcV
— Raam Das (@PRamdas_TNIE) October 16, 2021
These dams, located in three districts in central Kerala, send waters to major rivers across five districts — Idukki, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Thrissur – where inundation is likely.
District administrations have also started evacuation of people living on river banks in these districts.
Augustine said that 64 families have been evacuated as a precaution for releasing water from Idukki. Idamalayar dam in Ernakulam district has also touched warning levels.
As of now, five dams in Idukki and three in Pathanamthitta have been opened. Kallarkutti dam in Idukki releases 100.7 cubic meter water per second. The Kakki dam in Pathanamthitta releases 101 cubic meters per second.
The water level in the rivers in Thrissur district is also steadily rising as 413.5 cubic meter water per second is being released from Poringalkuth reservoir, which flows to Chalakkudy River. Sholayar dam in Thrissur district is releasing 24 cubic meters per second.
So far, 29 people have died in the rain fury in Kerala. Thirteen died in the landslide at Koottickal in Kottayam District.
Seven people died in another landslide at Kokkayar in Idukki where four houses were washed away. As of October 18, 2,429 families have been moved to relief camps.
The met department predicts heavy rain for three days from Wednesday. Yellow alert (64.5 mm to 115.5 mm in an hour) has been issued across 11 districts of the state.