India

As rain in Kerala relents, Idukki dam water level recedes

Water level in Idukki reservoir has come down a bit as rainfall in catchment areas subsided, said Jeevan Babu, Idukki district collector.

New Delhi: Heavy rains, which triggered flood and landslides across Kerala and claimed 30 lives so far, relented on Saturday and brought some relief to the harried state, enabling Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take an aerial survey of worst-affected Idukki district and surrounding areas.

Idukki district collector Jeevan Babu said water level in Idukki reservoir has come down a bit as rainfall in catchment areas subsided. Currently, 750,000 litres of water is being released from the dam every second to bring down the water level in the swollen reservoir.

“We are monitoring the situation closely,” said state power minister MM Mani, who hails from Idukki.

On Friday, 100 mm rainfall was recorded in the dam catchment areas but on Saturday, it came down to 60 mm, giving enough relief to the harried district administration. State Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, who is camping in Aluva, said situation was under control.

The state government declared a red alert in eight flood-hit districts on Friday after the Indian Meteorological Department forecast heavy rain for two more days. More than 53,000 people have been shifted to relief camps and units of three armed forces and NDRF teams have been deployed in worst-affected areas.

“The timely deployment of these rescue teams helped save many lives,” Chandrasekharan said.

Many areas of the port city of Kochi are without drinking water for last two days after the flood deposited sludge in the main pumping unit in Aluva. The Kerala Water Authority said water supply will be restored in a day.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will make an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas on Sunday. Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons said the state was hit by the worst flood in its history and the Centre would provide all help to it. At least 57 stranded tourists, including 24 foreigners, were rescued by an army team in the hill station of Munnar on August 10.

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