HIGHLIGHTS:

  • IMD has sounded a yellow alert across 11 districts from Wednesday
  • All the pilgrimage to the hill temple of Sabarimala was suspended due to a rise in water level in Pamba and other rivers
  • An expert committee has been formed to regulate the release of water from some of the dams

Kerala is already battling with heavy showers of rain, and the death toll has mounted to 35. In view of the heavy rainfall, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has sounded a yellow alert across 11 districts since Wednesday. It was issued as water levels rose sharply in many reservoirs due to heavy rains in catchment areas.

Previously, the IMD had issued a red alert to 10 dams in the state, and shutters of the Kakki dam in Pathanamthitta were opened. All the pilgrimage to the hill temple of Sabarimala was suspended due to a rise in water level in Pambba and other rivers. State Minister, K Rajan said that after opening the gates of the Kakki dam, the water level in the Pamba river will go up by at least 15 cm and pilgrimage in the prevailing situation was not advisable. Several pilgrims were sent back.

Keeping in view the ongoing situation, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan chaired an emergency meeting to review and monitor the situation. An expert committee has been formed to regulate the release of water from some of the dams. The expert panel includes weather experts, hydrologists, structural engineers, and climatologists. It will monitor water levels in all dams.

The rising water level in the Idukki reservoir promoted an orange alert. Idukki Member of Parliament Dean Kuriakose has asked the government to open some of its gates.

Meanwhile, IMD predicted that Kerala is likely to receive fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy downpours for three to four days starting Wednesday. More relief camps have been set up by the government. Opposition leader V D Satheesan, who visited landslide-affected areas, slammed the government and claimed that the relief operation was delayed and warning was not conveyed properly.

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