Since Wednesday Kerala is bracing for more heavy rainfalls even as rescue workers retrieved more bodies of victims from landslides in Kottayam and Idukki districts, taking the death toll to 27.
The weather forecast for the next few days has caused concern for people living in the high ranges that suffered landslides triggered by cloudbursts and the rains have caused swollen rivers and dams.
At a meeting of the state disaster management authority by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, the Kerala government took the decision of authorizing an expert committee to take the final call on releasing excess water from fast-filling dams.
The state government is cautious about releasing water as low-lying areas will get flooded. Meanwhile, hundreds of families have been moved to shelters in areas where a large number of houses were washed away in flash floods and landslides. On Monday evening, Pinarayi Vijayan briefed the authorities to ensure adequate facilities at the 185 shelters were operational.
Considering the rising water storage levels, the authorities have issued a red alert at 9 of the 17 dams operated by the Kerala State Electricity Board and two of the 20 dams operated by the state irrigation department, The Telegraph reported.
As the outflow from Sholayar and Peringalkuthu dams increased on Monday, sections of the Chalakudy river in Thrissur was in rush and threatened to flood low-lying areas. As per media reports, this was caused due to the water being released from Parambikulam dam from Tamil Nadu.
Chalakudy MLA Saneesh Kumar Joseph told the media outlet that there was already much concern about the overflow into the river. “There is a possibility that low-lying areas would get inundated once more water flows in later today. To avoid any danger, we have already moved people in those areas to shelters,” he said.
While the situation was not comparable to the 2018 floods when large swathes of both banks of the river were flooded, Joseph said adding that the authorities did not want to take any chances. “We are urging people to cooperate with the district authorities and emergency teams and move to safer areas,” he told The Telegraph.
(Inputs from The Telegraph)