Home NATIONAL Kerala: Water Level In Idukki Dam Rises To 2,395 ft, Code Orange Issued In Three Districts

Kerala: Water Level In Idukki Dam Rises To 2,395 ft, Code Orange Issued In Three Districts

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Monday issued an Orange alert in three districts of Idukki, Ernakulam, and Kottayam, after the water levels in the Idukki dam rose to 2,395 ft, dangerously close to its full storage capacity which is 2,403 ft. The three districts where the alert was issued could face the maximum impact if the dam shutters are opened, Indian Express reported.

Idukki reservoir is one of the largest arch dams in Asia with a maximum storage level of 2,403 ft. The dam had only 2,320 ft of water on the corresponding day last year. The shutters of the dam, which was commissioned in 1975, have been opened only twice in the past, with the last occasion being in 1992.

On both instances, the dam shutters had to be opened during the north-east monsoon in October-November. However, the continued rainfalls during the current southwest- monsoon have resulted in the steep rise of water levels in the dam. Meanwhile, rescue and relief teams have been stationed in Idukki and Ernakulam districts in anticipation of the opening of the dam shutters.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the Coast Guard, Army, Navy and Air Force have been directed to be alert for any eventuality. He added that four columns each of the Navy and the Army were ready to be deployed if need be, Indian Express reported.

The alert issued on Monday, also known as Code Orange, is the second-level of the three threat alerts issued by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and which is used to warn people living close to the water. The Green alert or Green Code is the first level of threat issued when the water level in the dam reaches 2390 feet. It is issued to warn those “who are living along the river with rising water levels”, The News Minute reported.

The third level is the Red alert or Code Red which is issued when the water level in the dam breaches the 2,399 ft. Dam shutters are usually opened 24 hours after the red alert is issued, State Disaster Management Authority member secretary Sekhar Kuriakose told Indian Express, adding that there was no need to panic.

Meanwhile, the daily reported that the district administrations in Idukki and Ernakulam have already identified those residents who would need to be relocated in the event of a flood-like situation. The administration will also conduct a trial run before opening the dam shutters. The trial-run could take place on Wednesday, as per the daily.

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