Kerala rain | Controlled spill of dam water, absence of rain avert flooding along the Periyar river

Hundreds living on the banks of the Periyar river heaved a sigh of relief as controlled spill from the Cheruthoni and Edamalayar dams averted the flood threat on Tuesday.

With rains staying away throughout the day and the river at low tide, the situation remained under control, even as the Ernakulam district administration warned the public against losing vigil. The administration reported that the discharge following the opening of three shutters of the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki had caused the water level to rise by 1.2 metres at the district border in Karimanal around 5.30 p.m.

The authorities had decided to open the dam shutters to avoid a surge in the water level in the river in view of the water in the Idukki reservoir approaching the red alert level and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD predicting heavy rainfall from Wednesday.

District Collector Jafar Malik said that the water level in the Periyar basin was 3.5 metres against the warning level of 7.1 metre and the danger level of 8.1 metre as on 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The water level at the Marthandavarma, Managalapuzha and Kalady stations along the Periyar remained below the flood warning levels despite the flow of water from the Cheruthoni and Edamalayar dams owing to the smooth discharge and lack of rain, said Mr. Malik.

The water level at Kuttampuzha along the Periyar had increased by around 30 cm around 9 a.m after the two shutters of the Edamalayar dam were raised by 80 cm at 6 a.m on the day. All the shutters in the Bhoothatankettu barrage were kept open above the water level to regulate the water flow.

The discharge from the Cheruthoni dam is expected to reach Kalady-Aluva region by midnight. It had crossed Neriamangalam by 5.30 p.m. As per the tidal data of the Survey of India, high tide may be experienced from 5.10 p.m on Tuesday to 12.40 a.m on Wednesday.

However, low tide will prevail from 12.40 a.m to 5.10 a.m on Wednesday and the spill from the dams is expected to cross the Kalady-Aluva region during this period.

The district administration has asked the people residing along the banks of the river to remain alert following the opening of dam shutters. Despite assurances that there would be no flooding compared to the deluge in 2018, many residents staying close to the river in Aluva and Kalady areas shifted their belongings to safer places.

With the rain staying away in the morning, the authorities hope that the situation would not turn worse in the coming hours.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 9:09:05 AM |

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