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Rainfall recedes, but nine Tamil Nadu districts still on flood alert

Karnataka discharges 1.9 lakh cusecs of Cauvery water into Mettur dam, spurring fears of further flooding.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2018 22:00 IST
Chennai
Tamil Nadu,Tamil nadu rains,Mettur dam
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka want to take no chances as neighbouring Kerala reels under unprecedented floods. (REUTERS photo)

Even as receding rainfall in western and southern Tamil Nadu provided flood-hit pockets of Tamil Nadu with some much-needed respite, nine of its districts continued to be on flood alert as Karnataka discharged over 1.9 lakh cusecs of Cauvery water into Mettur dam.

“This is the highest quantity of water to be discharged in the past 19 years,” said a senior Public Works Department official on the condition of anonymity. “Engineers have been positioned to monitor the flood banks, and the power distribution to over 200 villages has been suspended in order to prevent electrocution. Devotees thronging the banks of the Cauvery in the month of Aadi were told to avoid the Tiruchirapally, Amma Mandapam and Srirangam stretches.”

Taking selfies on the banks of the Cauvery has also been banned, he added.

State revenue minister RB Udayakumar, who is monitoring flood relief activities, said six districts are particularly vulnerable to flooding and as many as 8,410 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas until now. Erode district alone saw 5,875 people being moved to government buildings.

The Bhavani river is in full spate, discharging 65,000 cusecs of water and submerging houses along the river basin in Erode, he added.

State officials now expect three lakh cusecs of flood water to reach Kollidam by Saturday, and a red alert has been sounded in Nagapattinam district (where the Cauvery drains into the sea). “About 800 families have been identified and moved to safer locations. There has been no major loss to life or property till now, but we are taking every preventive measure,” principal secretary Sunil Paliwal, who is involved in monitoring flood mitigation activities, told HT.

“The rains have subsided in Tirunelveli and the situation is improving in other districts too. State disaster response teams have fanned out along every 10-kilometre stretch of Tamil Nadu rivers,” said principal secretary Rajendra Kumar, the nodal officer who is monitoring Tirunelveli district.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 22:00 IST