The third shutter of the Cheruthoni dam, a part of the Idukki hydropower project, was first opened by 35 centimetres to release one lakh litres of water per second.
The shutters of the Idukki dam over the Periyar river in Kerala were opened on Tuesday morning amid the flood crisis, local media reported.
This is only the fifth time in the dam’s history that the shutters had to be opened. The third shutter of the Cheruthoni dam, a part of the Idukki hydropower project, was first opened by 35 centimetres to release one lakh litres of water per second.
The district administration alerted the people residing near the Periyar river prior to opening the sluice gates. The administration sounded the first siren at 10.50 AM and then again at 10.51 AM before the shutters were opened at 11 AM.
The second and fourth shutters will be opened successively. The water released from the dam will first flow to Cheruthoni town and then to the low-lying regions surrounding it.
The water level in the Idukki dam was recorded at 2,398.04 ft on Tuesday morning. The district administration has decided to control the level at 2,395-2,396 ft amid warnings of further heavy rainfall.
The development follows the opening of the sluice gates of the Pampa and Idamalayar reservoirs early on Tuesday amid an increase in the water levels and the forecast of further rain. Two shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened by 50 centimetres each, while two sluice gates of the Pampa dam were opened by 45 centimetres each, the authorities have confirmed to PTI.
On Monday, the state government opened the sluice gates of the Kakki and Sholayar dams.
Even though the rain subsided on Monday in several parts of Kerala, the state government decided to open the shutters after the water level was hovering near the respective danger levels. The likelihood of further rain on Wednesday also forced the government’s hand.
According to the latest State Disaster Management Authority figures, 38 people have died in rain-related incidents between October 12 and October 18.