Heavy inflow keeps water level high in Idukki dam

Cheruthoni: Even as all the five shutters of Idukki Cheruthoni dam were opened on Friday, the water level in the dam continues to rise as the inflow to the dam is more than the water being let out.

While three shutters were lifted by 1 metre, two shutters were lifted by 50 cm. 7.5 lakh litres of water is being released from the dam per second since 5 pm.

The copious flow of water resulted in the bridge at Cheruthoni town submerging in the water by 2 pm.

The gushing water from the dam destroyed trees and plants situated on the banks. Traffic was completely disrupted in Cheruthoni-Kattappana route.

Heavy rainfall is continuing unabated in the catchment area of the dam.

The water level in the dam has reached 2401.72 ft. Maximum storage capacity of the dam is 2403 ft. The inflow will mostly affect the panchayats of Vazhathoppu, Kanjikuzhi, Mariyapuram and Vathikudi.

While 36 families were rehabilitated in Vazhathoppu, 80 families were rehabilitated in Kanjikuzhi. People who dwell on the banks of the Periyar river and Cheruthoni river have been cautioned.

Union minister Alphons Kannamthanam said he discussed the flood situation in Kerala with Home Minister Rajnath Singh this morning. "The Government of India is providing all the required assistance including services of armed forces, disaster management team and other required assistance. Any other immediate assistance requested by the Government of Kerala will be provided," he said in a Facebook post.

Col Ajai Sharma, the Commandant of DSC Centre, who is overseeing relief and rescue operations, said five columns of Army has been deployed in the northern districts since last night. "The haphazard development along the streams has affected the natural flow of rivers, which is a challenge right now," he said.

Small bridges have been constructed to evacuate stranded people in various places in Kozhikode and Wayanad areas, and rescue operations are currently underway.

"The situation is under control," he said.

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