Kerala gears up for water release from Idukki dam

The Kerala government has been put on high alert with continuing rain in the catchment areas of Idukki and increasing inflow into the reservoir. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan late on Sunday announced various disaster mitigation steps that the government has lined up if the dam shutters were to be opened.

The district administration is considering the possibility of controlled release of water from the Idukki dam, with the water level touching 2,394.2 ft on Sunday as against the total capacity of 2,400 ft.

The possibility of release of water from the Mullaperiyar dam, which peaked at 135.95 ft, was also factored in by the authorities while planning the controlled release from Idukki.

The Idukki District Collector told
The Hindu
that the decision on opening the shutters would be taken depending on the inflow into the dam in the coming days. The administration of the downstream districts, including Ernakulam, have announced various precautionary steps.

The Chief Minister said the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Coast Guard had been requested to be on high alert. The Air Force has lined up two helicopters, while the Navy and the Army have mobilised four columns to be deployed, if required.

NDRF teams on alert

The Coast Guard was ready with boats to be used in the low-lying areas of Ernakulam. The Kerala State Electricity Board has decided to open a 24-hour control room.

The National Disaster Response Force has inducted four teams. The first team will be in Idukki on Sunday night, while two more were located in Aluva and Thrissur, he said.

“There is no cause for panic as of now and the Disaster Management Authority will give the necessary instructions as and when necessary,” Mr. Vijayan said in a late night Facebook post.

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