Thiruvananthapuram: With heavy rains continuing to lash parts of Kerala, water levels in several dams, including the Mullaperiyar and Idukki, in the state are reaching their respective storage capacities and some even reached red alert status on Sunday.
According to figures provided by the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), water in six dams -- of which four are in Idukki -- under the control of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) are at red alert levels and in one at orange alert level.
The dams where water has reached red alert levels at 11 am were -- Ponmudi, Kallarkutty, Erattayar and Lower Periyar in Idukki, Kuttiyadi in Kozhikode and Moozhiyar in Pathanamthitta districts of the state. Orange alert was announced in Poringalkuthu dam in Thrissur, KSDMA said.
The colour-coded alerts -- blue, orange and red -- refer to the storage level data of the dam with respect to each reservoir's capacity.
Later in the evening, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, referring to weather reports and KSDMA data, said an orange alert has also been announced in Meenkara irrigation dam in Palakkad.
Besides that, blue alerts have been announced in Neyyar and Mangalam irrigation dams in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad, respectively, the Chief Minister said in a release.
It also said the water level in Mullaperiyar dam has reached 135.75 feet and once it reaches 136.60 due to the rains, Tamil Nadu will release water from its side through the spillway and therefore, nearby residents should be vigilant and take precautions.
The water levels in the Mullaperiyar dam were holding steady at 135.7 feet at 12 pm due to reduction in rainfall in the area during the preceding hours, an official from the control room set up in Idukki district had said earlier in the day.
The Chief Minister, in the release, also said water was being released from Malankara, Siruvani, Kuttiyadi, Kallada, Karapuzha, Kanjirappuzha, Peechi, Maniyar, Bhoothathankettu, Moolathara and Pazhassi dams in the state and people nearby these dams should take precautions.
He also said, in the release, that according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a yellow alert for rainfall has been declared in Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts for the day and for Monday in Idukki, Malappuram and Kasaragod districts. A yellow alert issued by IMD means heavy rainfall between 6 cm and 11 cm.
Vijayan asked people to be careful of wind hazards as strong winds are expected in the state and advised those living in low-lying areas, near river banks and hilly areas prone to landslides to be alert. He said, in the release, that 23 relief camps have been set up in various districts of the state and 1,485 people have been shifted there.
Meanwhile, 23 people have died so far in rain-related incidents, 11 were injured, three are missing, 81 houses have been completely destroyed and 1,278 homes were partially damaged, the release said.