A flood warning has been issued by Kerala as the water level in the Mullaperiyar Dam reached 140 feet at 9 am on Sunday, November 14. The Idukki district administration said that according to the Tamil Nadu government, the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam reached 140 feet on Sunday morning. As a result, people living on both sides of the Periyar should be extra cautious as the shutters of the dam could be opened in the next 24 hours if water level rises further and there was a possibility that excess water would overflow, it said.
â€śWith the water level rising in the dam and there is a possibility of releasing the excess water, people living on both sides of Periyar should exercise extreme caution,â€ť the Idukki Collector said on her Facebook page, and provided control room numbers. Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said that one shutter of the Idukki Dam will be raised by 40 cm at 2 pm on Sunday to control the water level, and cautioned those living on the banks of the Periyar.
The district administration of Pathanamthitta, which received heavy rainfall, has advised extreme caution, especially by those living close to river banks or landslide prone areas. It advised moving people in landslide and flood prone areas to relief camps.
With heavy rains lashing various parts of Kerala since Saturday night, water level reached the red alert level in various dams in the state and several roads were submerged by Sunday morning. The weather department said the situation is expected to continue, especially in the southern parts of the state, for the next two days.
Incessant rains caused minor landslips and disruption of train services in some parts of Kerala on Saturday, prompting authorities to sound extreme caution in hilly areas, river sides and tourist centres.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had on Saturday predicted extremely heavy rains in Thiruvananthapuram while an 'orange alert', warning of very heavy rainfall was issued for Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Idukki districts. Thunderstorms coupled with lightning are also very likely to occur at one or two places in the state till November 16, according to IMD.
A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while Orange alert denotes very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rains. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 to 11 cm.
Late last month, families living downstream in Idukki district had to be evacuated as the damâ€™s shutters were opened.
This comes at a time that Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been at loggerheads over the century-old dam, with Kerala insisting the reservoir is not safe, and wants a new one in its place while its neighbour has been maintaining it was strong. The issue pertaining to the 126-year-old Mullaperiyar dam is a matter of "continuous supervision", the Supreme Court said on Saturday,
The Kerala government had recently told the apex court that "no amount of rejuvenation" can perpetuate the dam and there is a limit to the number of years one can keep dams in service through maintenance and strengthening measures. Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, said the dam was found to be hydrologically, structurally and seismically safe.
With inputs from PTI