Kerala Floods LIVE Updates: Relief in Sight for Idukki Residents as Rain Relents, Waters Recede Slightly
The water level at the Idukki dam is now at 2,401 feet after it came down on Friday night as the intensity of the rains decreased.
Idukki (Kerala): Thousands living around the Idukki dam and in Ernakulam and Thrissur heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday as the prediction of heavy rains in Kerala did not come to pass, leading to recession in the Idukki dam waters ravaging the area over the last few days.
"The rains have slowed down in and around the Idukki dam since last night and hence the water level in the dam has also come down," State Power Minister MM Mani said. "So far things are fine and everything is going as planned. The water that came down the five floodgates, barring at Cheruthoni, has not caused any major crisis," added Mani, who is monitoring the situation from here.
Cheruthoni is the nearest town to the Idamalayar dam and with water gushing down the spillway for the first time in 26 years, there was heavy flooding in the area.
The Cheruthoni bridge continued to be submerged. It had come under severe stress with huge trees that have been uprooted coming and hitting the bridge.
The water level at the Idukki dam is now at 2,401 feet after it came down on Friday night as the intensity of the rains decreased. On Saturday, the inflow into the dam stood at 6,00,000 litres of water per second, while the outflow through the floodgates is 7.50 lakh litres per second.
Authorities on Friday had expected that parts of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts would be submerged following the opening of all five floodgates. However, this did not happen as the dam water entered the tributaries of the Periyar river in a systematic manner.
According to informed sources, if the water level in the dam comes down to 2,400 feet, it was likely to bring down the outflow through the five shutters as well — to around 5,00,000 litres per second.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is undertaking an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged districts. Due to inclement weather, the chief minister's helicopter could not land at Kattapana in Idukki, where he had called a meeting to review the situation in the backdrop of the opening of five shutters of Idukki Dam, government sources said.
The helicopter has left for Wayanad and the chief minister would be visiting a relief camp and attend a review meeting at the collectorate, they said.
The chief minister is accompanied by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Revenue minister, E Chandrasekharan, state Chief Secretary, Tom Jose and state Police Chief Loknath Behara.
At least 29 people have so far lost their lives in the heavy rains since August 8 and over 50,000 persons have been shifted to relief camps.
A red alert has been issued for 8 districts — Idukki, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Kottayam, Alappuzha of the 14 districts in the state by the Indian Meteorological department. Over 54,000 people have been shifted to relief camps across the state.
Meanwhile, Kochi Airport in a statement said flight operations are continuing uninterrupted and there has been no cancellations.
"We surmounted a night of anxiety. All systems worked properly. Our efforts to protect the operational area succeeded. Water levels in the surrounding having stabilised, flight operations at Kochi Airport continue uninterrupted," it said.
(With agency inputs)
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