A flood warning has been issued in downstream areas along the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu, as the Mettur dam is fast filling up due to heavy rains in Karnataka. The rainfall in the Cauvery catchment area in Kodagu (in Karnataka), particularly, has caused massive inflow into the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam as well as the Kabini Dam. This, in turn, is being released into the Mettur dam located in Salem district, Tamil Nadu.
The letter has been issued to the Collectors of four districts: Salem, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Erode. According to the warning, issued by R Saravanan, Executive Engineer of the Central Water Commission, Coimbatore, “In view of heavy rain in Karnataka and Kerala, there is a likelihood of substantial release of water from Krishna Raja Sagar Dam and Kabini Dam. The combined discharge of approximately 1.50 lakh cusecs (cubic feet per second) is expected to reach Mettur Dam on Sunday (11.08.2019) night and subsequently increase to approximately 2.40 lakh cusecs by Monday (12.08.2019) evening.”
The advisory cautioned, “Suitable precautionary steps may be taken and downstream areas informed of the release.”
As of Sunday, the storage in the Mettur dam is 92,010 mcft (million cubic feet) as it stands at 67.40 feet as against its full reservoir level (FRL) of 120 feet. The Bhavanisagar dam, located in neighbouring Erode district, is at a storage level of 27,495 mcft. While the full reservoir level of the dam is 105 feet, it currently stands at 90.12 feet.
Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur in the Cauvery catchment areas for the next two days.
Meanwhile, the Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall for the rain-battered Nilgiris and Coimbatore districts. However, the districts may experience some respite from Monday as light to moderate rainfall in isolated areas over the ghat areas in the two districts have been forecast. Over 30 people have been rescued in Nilgiris amidst the landslides, of which, 15 were rescued by the Indian Air Force helicopters.
As far as Chennai is concerned, the sky condition is likely to be generally cloudy, the India Meteorological Department said. “Light to moderate rain is likely to occur in some areas. Maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around 37 and 28 degree Celsius respectively,” it added.