Gates of Idukki dam opened in rain-battered Kerala, rescue ops on

Published on Oct 19, 2021 12:26 PM IST

The shutters of the Kaki Ananthodu Dam in Pathanamthitta district were opened on Monday. Moozhiyar and Maniyar dams have also been opened. The IMD has forecast more rain for Kerala in the coming days.

The Idukki dam is Asia's largest arc dam.(PTI Photo)
The Idukki dam is Asia's largest arc dam.(PTI Photo)
By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The gates of Idukki dam on the Periyar river were opened by the local authorities in Kerala to ease the pressure on the structure in the wake of heavy rainfall in the southern state. Thirty five people have so far lost their lives in the rain-battered state.

Also Read | Kerala's rain pattern has seen a big shift, say experts

As soon as the gates opened, one lakh litre of water gushed out of the dam that is back bone of the state's hydel projects.

This is the fourth time that the shutters of Asia's largest arc dam have been opened. Before today, the gates were opened in 1981, 1992 and 2018.

As many as 200 families residing in the downstream have been evacuated by local authorities.

Officials said that the water from the dam took an earmarked river path, submerging Cheruthony town on the way. The authorities have sounded high alert in Ernakulam and Alapuzha districts.

The shutters of the Kaki Ananthodu Dam in Pathanamthitta district were opened on Monday. Moozhiyar and Maniyar dams have also been opened. The shutters of Peechi, Chimmini, Poomala, Asurankundu, Pathazhakundu and Vazhani dams in Thrissur district have been opened to prevent flooding.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the torrential rain were caused by a low-pressure area over south-east Arabian Sea. It has forecast more rain for the state between October 20 and 24.

It has also issued a red alert for 10 dams across the state.

Of the 35 deaths, 14 have been reported in Kottayam district, 10 in Idukki and one each in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode districts.

The heavy rainfall triggered landslides in many place; four houses were washed away in one such landslide at Kokkayar in Peerumedu village in Idukki district. The rescuers are searching for a person named Ansi (52) who went missing in a flash flood in Idukki.

Idukki district authorities said the Navy, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), fire force personnel and others have been engaged in rescue operations at Kokkayar and other regions.

At present, 2,619 families are living in 247 relief camps across Kerala. There are a total of 9,422 people in these camps. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed that the relief camps should have adequate facilities, like food, clothing and bedding. Apart from revenue department, respective local self government (LSG) bodies have also been asked to take note of this. Vijayan has also directed them to seek the help of local communities.

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