Continued copious inflows and intermittent spells of heavy rain have forced authorities to open the fifth shutter at the Cheruthoni dam, spillway for the Idukki reservoir, largest in Kerala, letting out 14,126 cusecs.
The fifth and last shutter has been opened as well, the first time ever since the Idukki came into existence in the mid-1970s.
RELIEF & RESCUE
A press release from the Defence Wing of the Press Information Bureau said that Army and Air Force have swung into action for disaster relief and rescue operations in monsoon-battered Kerala.
Eight columns of the Army have been deployed in different parts of the state. The Army station located at Pangode near here had already deployed one column to Idukki under a Captain rank officer.
They are stationed at Adimali in Idukki where rescue operations are progressing. Defence Security Corps (DSC) Kannur has already deployed to Idukki. So there are two columns operational in the district.
DSC Kannur has also sent out four columns at Iritty (Kannur), Thamarassery (Kozhikode), and the worst-hit and marooned Wayanad and Malappuram districts.
The Indian Air Force has pressed into service two helicopters for search and rescue operation. One Mi-17IV and an Advanced Light Helicopter have been deployed from the Sulur Air Force Base.
IDUKKI WATER LEVEL
Meanwhile, the water level at Idukki has touched 2401.60 ft at 1 pm against a full reservoir level of 2403 feet. The hourly gross inflows are at 31,783 cusecs. Six hourly average net inflows are 17,092 cusecs.
The spillover is 10,594 cusecs with three shutters opened and one shutter lifted as high as 50 cm. The Navy has said that it is upgrading its alert in the constantly evolving scenario.
Opening of the Kakki, Cheruthoni, Idamalayar and Idukki reservoirs may lead to a rise in levels in rivers flowing through downstream districts.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that all tourists marooned in a resort at Idukki are safe. Earlier today, the US government had warned citizens against travelling to monsoon-ravaged Kerala.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has cancelled all his programmes and will be stationed here in the context of the grave situation and also forecast heavy rains over the next few days as well.
India Met Department (IMD) has warned of another rain-driving low-pressure area to form over the Bay of Bay of Bengal during the next three days.