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Kerala couple arrives on a cooking vessel for marriage.       --Photo IANS

High alert on banks of Periyar as Kerala braces for more rain

INDIA (The Statesman/ANN) -- Places falling on the banks of the Periyar river have been put on high alert by the Ernakulam district administration as the water released from the Idukki dam has reached flood-prone areas of Aluva in Kochi on Wednesday morning.
Rain-battered Kerala is set to receive more rain starting today, IMD has predicted. As per IMD’s prediction, the Western Ghat belt and eastern hills of the state will receive heavy to extremely heavy rains.
As a precautionary measure in view of the torrential rains in Kerala, three shutters of the Idukki dam were opened at 11 am on Tuesday, releasing around one lakh litres of water per second from the Idukki dam.
Meanwhile, Kerala Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty on Tuesday said that the water level of the Periyar river is below the danger level at present.
Krishnankutty said, “Since the Idukki and Idamalayar dams were opened, I came here to see the present condition of the Periyar river. We have nothing to worry about now.”
According to official estimates, heavy rains in Kerala have claimed the lives of 27 people. Of these, 14 deaths were reported in the Kottayam district, 10 in the Idukki district, and one each in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, and Kozhikode districts.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued an orange alert for Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and other districts for today in rain-battered Kerala.
Other districts that have been issued with an orange alert include Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, and Kannur districts. A yellow alert has been sounded in Kasargod, Alapuzha, and Kollam district for October 20.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called on those residing in river basins and hilly regions to be extremely vigilant.
IMD data shows that the southern state has received 135 percent excess rain during the period from October 1 to 19. During the heavy spell on October 16 when the IMD issued a Red alert indicating extremely heavy rainfall, numerous incidents of landslips and other rain-related accidents were reported from south-central districts of Kerala, resulting in at least 27 deaths.
The season’s rainfall data on the IMD website shows that the normal rainfall for the period of October 1 to 19 was 192.7 mm whereas the actual rainfall was 453.5 mm.

(Latest Update October 21, 2021)

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