As continuous rains lashed across Kerala, the shutters of the Idukki dam, which was nearing capacity, were opened around 11 am on Tuesday, 19 October.
Water from the two shutters of the other prominent dam, Idamalayar, on Periyar's tributaries in Ernakulam district, will also be opened by 80 centimetres each on Tuesday.
Kerala Revenue Minister K Rajan and state Health Minister Veena George said at a press conference that a red alert has been issued for 10 dams in Kerala.
Officials had on Monday announced an orange alert, when the water level in Idukki dam reached 2,396.86 feet at 7 am.
The state government has made adequate arrangements to control the impact of the water flow once the sluice gates are opened.
Though Chalakkudy got some respite in the rainfall, the flow of water from the Parambikulam reservoir since the shutters of the Sholayar dam was opened on Monday has caused concerns.
Kakki and Pamba dams in Pathanamthitta district have already been opened.
Sabarimala Pilgrimage on Hold
The pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple has been put on hold for this season. The areas surrounding Sabarimala – Nilakkal and Perunthenaruvi – had received more than 20 cm of rain till Sunday, 17 October.
Also, after the opening of the sluice gates of Kakki dam, the water level in the Pamba River is expected to rise by at least 15 cm, which is not safe for pilgrims.
State officials have evacuated people living along the banks of the Pamba river to relief camps set up in the district.
Heavy Rainfall Till 24 Oct
Presently, there are 184 relief camps in Kerala. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan chaired a high-level meeting on Monday to assess the rain situation in the state.
The Indian Meteorological Department had warned of heavy rainfall from 20-24 October.
The meteorologists have concluded that the rainfall is mainly a localised phenomenon triggered due to the low-pressure system formed in the Arabian Sea and is not due to the south-west or north-east monsoon.