With Kerala facing the worst flood it has seen in recent times, officials have directed that drinking water supply to Ernakulam be rationed as the pumping system in Aluva has been damaged. Chief Secretary Tom Jose said on Friday that Ernakulam district would have to brace itself to witness the worst flood in the recent times.
The pipelines in the system have ruptured due to the incessant rains. A government holiday has been declared in both Ernakulam and Thrissur.
In a press meet, the Chief Secretary also said that 6,500 affected families would have to be moved from the banks of Periyar River and the state would open more relief camps to accommodate them.
As of now there are 481 relief camps across the state, and Wayanad alone has 107 operating right now. But after gauging the situation, the state is likely to open more.
Four more teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been called into Ernakulam, to assist with the relief operations.
As of now, there are 10 NDRF teams in Kerala, concentrated in the worst-affected districts of Idukki, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram. The navy and army too have pitched in.
Twenty seven people have died since the rains began three days ago.
With 5 shutters of the Cheruthoni dam being opened, Tom Jose said that they are first focussing on evacuating the people along the banks of Periyar River in this district first. A warning has also been issued in Ernakulam and Aluva as the water is expected to reach there soon.
It is estimated at the rains have caused a loss of Rs 1,000 crore to the state’s exchequer.
Neutralizing the water in Idukki
According to Tom Jose, the only the water level can be reduced is to regulate the outflow of water according to the inflow. But for this, dam safety needs to be ensured as well.
The Disaster Management Committee met and reviewed the situation. Since the water level in the Idukki reservoir has not fallen, it decided to release more water through the course of the day. District Collectors of affected districts have been notified to take action with regard to this.
The outflow of water in Idamalayar dam has been reduced already.
Meanwhile, the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have already called on Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan to offer assistance.