Thiruvananthapuram, July 30: Kerala authorities have issued an orange alert for the Idukki dam as the water level touched 2,395 feet on Monday night due to persistent rainfall. The Idukki reservoir for the first time is likely to attain full-level due to the south-west monsoons.
An orange alert is the second level of the three alerts that are issued to warn people living in the downstream areas. The people who are more likely to be affected in case of flooding have been warned, especially those residing close to the lower Periyar area in Ernakulam district. The state government has also alerted the army, navy, air force and coast guard to tackle an emergency situation.
Kerala authorities have issued an orange alert after water level in the Idukki dam touched 2,395 feet today, following continuous heavy rainfall.
— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2018
While Ernakulam and Thrissur have already got protection from a National Disaster Response Force team, the state government is yet to deploy a team in Idukki. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “Coast Guard is also ready with small boats to evacuate people if water enters low-lying areas of Ernakulam.”
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) stated that the water-level touched 2,394.72 feet at 1 pm today against the full level of 2,403 feet. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) informed PTI that water will be released from the dam if the level reaches 2397 ft. To check for any obstruction and diversion on the route, water will be released initially on a trial basis for one or two hours, added KSEB.
As a part of the Idukki Hydroelectric Project, the Idukki reservoir was constructed with three dams namely Idukki, Cheruthoni, and Kulamavu. While Idukki dam is used for storing water, Cheruthoni and Kulamavu are used for routing water to the powerhouse. After evaluating the water level and rainfall, the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam will be opened.
Vijayan added that in case the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam are opened, the water would flow through Ernakulam from Idukki, before reaching the Arabian sea. Meanwhile, tourists have been restricted to visit some areas near the dam, stated the KSDMA.
(With PTI inputs)