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Flood alert in Tamil Nadu districts, evacuations begin

Officials said the alert was issued as major dams in the region’s seven districts are full due to heavy water inflow from the neighbouring states.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2018 00:49 IST
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Flood alert,Tamil Nadu,evacuations
The lower riparian Tamil Nadu had been getting heavy water inflow through the Cauvery river and its rivulets from Karnataka, which has recorded heavy rains.(PTI/File Photo)

Authorities on Wednesday sounded a flood alert in Tamil Nadu’s western and central districts and began evacuations even as the region has received deficient rainfall this monsoon. Officials said the alert was issued as major dams in the region’s seven districts are full due to heavy water inflow from the neighbouring states.

The lower riparian Tamil Nadu had been getting heavy water inflow through the Cauvery river and its rivulets from Karnataka, which has recorded heavy rains.

“All major dams in Tamil Nadu have filled and a huge amount of water is now flowing into Mettur, Bhavani Sagar and Amaravathi dams due to surplus inflow from Karnataka and Kerala,” said state disaster management commissioner K Sathyagopal.

“At present, Karnataka is releasing around 1.50 lakh cusecs of water from Billigindulu. Similarly, Cauvery catchment area and ghat regions of Tamil Nadu are also receiving downpour, flooding Perunchani, Bhavani Sagar and Amaravathi dams,” he added.

He said this will add one lakh cusecs of water into the Cauvery. “The river basin in the state will soon witness a discharge of 2.5 lakh cusecs of water,” he said.

He said evacuations from low lying areas of Salem, Dharmapuri, Kanyakumari and Namakkal had begun. “The Cauvery basin can hold an inflow of 4 lakh cusecs, but the public in low lying areas ought to be evacuated,” he said.

He emphasised that the situation was under control and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) was ready for any emergency. “Currently, we are not reaching out to National Disaster Response Force,” Sathyagopal said.

He said the release of water from Mullaiperiyar in Kerala will not have any adverse effect, but the stormwater in Theni is being diverted to Vaigai.

Officials said SDRF teams had fanned out in Salem, Nilgiris, Namakkal, Kanniyakumari and Coimbatore districts. So far around 200 families have been evacuated. Around 700 SDRF teams were ready.

The regional meteorological centre in Chennai has warned of heavy rains in Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Theni and Tirunelveli districts. Tourist movements in reserve forests and coracle services in these regions have been suspended for the next few days.

Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has dispatched top officials to monitor the Cauvery basin districts.

First Published: Aug 16, 2018 00:47 IST