Kerala rains: Crisis continues as Idukki dam opened after 26 years
The 45-year-old Idukki dam had not filled to such levels in the past 26 years.Updated: Aug 10, 2018 11:31 IST
The number of deaths in Kerala went up to 26 on Friday as heavy rains continued to lash the state triggering flash floods and landslides. As the water level still remains above the danger mark in many rivers, the state continues to be on high alert as the Idukki dam -- one of the largest arch dams in Asia -- has been opened after 26 years.
On Thursday, the Kerala State Electricity Board or KSEB opened a shutter of the Cheruthoni dam on the Idukki reservoir. The historic step was taken after the water level almost reached the maximum storage level of 2403 feet. Another two of the five sluice gates , releasing 1.5 lakh litre per second, were opened later.
The Idukki dam water, when released, will take about four or five hours for it to reach the Periyar river.
The 45-year-old Idukki dam had not filled to such levels in the past 26 years. The dam has been opened only thrice since its commission in 1975.
In the wake of the situation, Kerala chief minister Pinyari Vijayan held emergency meeting Friday morning – the second in as many days – to take stock of the devastation caused by rain and floods.