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Flood alert in 12 Tamil Nadu districts as Mettur dam full, people living on Cauvery banks evacuated

This is the second time this year the Mettur dam has reached its full capacity of 120 feet and the 40th time since it was built in 1934.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2018 18:11 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil Nadu,Flood alert,Mettur dam
Heavy flow at Hogenakkal Falls, in Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu.(PTI File Photo)

A flood alert was in place in 12 Tamil Nadu districts as the Cauvery river overflowed with excess water being released into it from the brimming Mettur dam and submerged houses in Namakkal district on Sunday.

Due to the heavy rainfall in the catchment area, the Mettur dam, receiving about 1.35 lakh cusecs of water from the KRS and Kabini dams, reached its full capacity of 120 feet by 1.45 p.m. on Saturday, forcing the water resources department to release 1.30 lakh cusecs into the Cauvery River in the night.

Flood alert was in place for Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Trichy, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Pudukkottai, Perambalur and Ariyalur districts and their district collectors advised people living near the river banks to move to safer places.

As many as 276 people were evacuated from over 70 houses submerged in Kumarapalayam of Namakkal and sent to the temporary relief camps.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, M Asia Mariyam, collector of Namakkal district said: “Due to this overflow of water, 72 houses on the banks of Cauvery in Kumarapalayam were inundated. So, we rescued all the 276 people and lodged them in a temporary camp.”

Another 83 people residing on the river banks in Salem and Erode districts were moved as a precautionary measure.

“A total of 359 peoples in Erode, Namakkal and Salem districts have been evacuated from their houses so far. They are allowed to stay at four temporary camps. TN Government has been giving food, water, medicine and other basic needs to the people residing in the relief camps,” said state revenue minister R B Udhayakumar.

With hundreds of dyeing units functioning in Kumarapalayam in Namakkal and Pallipalayam in Erode, thousands of people are working there as daily wage employees and many reside on the banks of Cauvery. They have urged the government to allocate them houses under the Tamil Nadu Housing Board.

“We are staying here for last 20 years. Whenever the flood occurs in the Cauvery, we had to vacate our houses. When Cauvery had flooded last July 23, we vacated our house. However, the water did not enter our house at that time. But now, our houses were inundated on Sunday,” said R Arumugam from Kumarapalayam.

Mariyam says the government has identified few eligible families for providing houses to them.

“In Namakkal, we have found a few eligible families who are not residing on government land on the banks of Cauvery. Soon, they will be sent to some other places. But we are not in a position to help people with own lands on the banks,” the collector told HT.

This is the second time this year the Mettur dam has reached its full capacity of 120 feet and the 40th time since it was built in 1934, said a PWD official.

First Published: Aug 12, 2018 18:11 IST