Orange alert given as Idukki dam nears full

The Idukki reservoir's shutters were last opened in 1992.

Thiruvananthapuram: Officials at the Idukki dam issued an orange alert on Monday evening with when the water level reached just nine feet short of the full level. Water stood at 2,395 feet.

The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said an orange alert did not mean that the gages would be opened at night. It would be peformed during the day after sufficient notice is given to the public and stakeholders downstream of the dam. The Idukki reservoir’s shutters were last opened in 1992.

The final red alert would be issued when the water level touches 2,399 feet, it said. The full level of the dam is 2,404 feet. Earlier, the Kerala government had put the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard on alert to meet any eventuality in case water is released.

State Electricity Board sources said that when the level reaches 2,397 feet, there was a possibility of water being released on a trial basis for one or two hours. This was to find out if there were any obstruction and diversion on the route the water flows, they said.

A team of NDRF has been deployed in Ernakulam and Thrissur and another team would reach Idukki, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a Facebook post.

The reservoir comprises three dams — Idukki, Cheruthoni and Kulamavu — built for the the Idukki Hydroelectric Project.

“Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Huard have been asked to be on vigil. Two helicopters have been kept ready. There is no need to panic as of now. The State Disaster Management Authority will give timely directive in this regard,” Mr Vijayan said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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