Four shutters of the Malampuzha dam will be opened at 3 pm on Thursday. The Palakkad Collector’s office announced on Thursday that the shutters would be opened for 30 cms owing to the heavy rainfall expected in the district from October 5. The current water level in the dam is 114.03 m against the full reservoir level is 115.06 m.
The announcement warned people living close to the banks to be careful since the waterflow is expected to increase after the shutters are opened. A red alert warning had been issued to three districts in Kerala for October 7. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Thrissur, Palakkad and Idukki are likely to see very heavy rains and strong winds on October 7 and an orange alert has been issued for October 8.
The Meteorological Department also forecast heavy rains in isolated places in Palakkad on October 5 and heavy to very heavy rainfall on October 6. Coast guard ships and Dornier aircrafts in Arabian Sea are making announcements, asking fishermen to return to the coast.
A tropical storm is brewing in the Arabian Sea, moving towards the coast of Oman, and Kerala will see heavy rains, the Indian Meteorological Department said on Thursday.
Following the IMD warning, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) executive committee convened a meeting on October 4. At the meeting, it was decided that the executive engineers in charge of dams have to be in constant communication and that shutters should be opened only after informing and taking permission from the district Collectors.
The state government has requested the Central Water Commission (CWC) to direct the Tamil Nadu government to inform Kerala in advance before opening their dams. This decision comes as several dams in Tamil Nadu are reaching full capacity. It has also been directed that low tide and high tide should be considered before opening dams.
It was also decided that the offices of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and Kerala Water Authority, which is situated near the dams, should be given working satellite phones.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a press meet on Wednesday, said that a low pressure area is very likely to form over the Arabian Sea on October 5. The CM had also requested the people to avoid travelling to the hilly regions until the rains abate.