The district administration has relocated two families as a precautionary measure on Sunday following reports of a fracture in the ground near the Neyyar dam in the Neyyatinkara taluk. Scientists from the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) are expected to visit the site on Monday to analyse the phenomenon and recommend further action.

Additional District Magistrate V. Jayaprakash told The Hindu that local residents had reported the presence of a crack in the soil about 200 metres from the bottom of the dam, between the river and the left bank canal. “They immediately alerted officials in the Department of Irrigation who in turn reported the matter to the Revenue Department. Though there is nothing alarming, we decided to relocate the two families in the immediate vicinity. They have been temporarily shifted to the quarters of the Irrigation Department. We are monitoring the area for any further widening of the crack or subsidence,” he said.

Mr. Jayaprakash said he had requested the CESS to carry out a geological survey to analyse the phenomenon in detail.

Neyyatinkara tahsildar Mano Mohan said local people had reported a rumbling sound before the fracture appeared in the ground. “None of the residents experienced a tremor but they said the narrow crack seen in the morning had widened into a fracture about 75 metres long by evening.”

Scientists at CESS infer that the fracture could either be the result of ‘piping’, a phenomenon caused by subsurface erosion of soil, or an indication of an imminent landslip in the area.

Director, CESS, Dr. T. Radhakrishna said a team of scientists would visit the area on Monday to examine the fracture.

Keywords: Neyyar dam