Rain pounds northern districts, Munnar isolated

Rain pounds northern districts, Munnar isolated

A monkey sits in the backdrop of a heavy gush of water following heavy monsoon rainfall, at Athirappilly waterfall in Thrissur, on Monday. PTI

Heavy rain lashed Kerala’s northern districts on Tuesday, submerging areas already battered by floods and landslips in a destructive, week-long spell of the southwest monsoon.

Landslips were reported from Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts on a day that also saw parts of Munnar town in the central district of Idukki flooded.

Shutters of many dams in the north, including Banasura Sagar in Wayanad, were kept raised. Late in the evening, four shutters of the dam were raised to a total height of 235 cm, with a discharge of 200 cumecs (two lakh litres per second).

Traffic to and from Wayanad district was hit following landslips on ghat roads. Rivers are in spate across the north; flooding was reported from many parts of Palakkad town.

Idukki shutters raised again

In Idukki, continuing rains forced the Kerala State Electricity Board to re-open two of the five sluices in the Cheruthoni dam which were closed on Monday.

The discharge was also increased from 300 cumecs to 600 cumecs, again putting on alert downstream villages and areas along the river Periyar in Ernakulam. Many relief camps in Ernakulam’s low-lying areas were closed on Monday.

The water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir in Idukki crossed 137 ft on Tuesday, leading the district administration to issue an alert for downstream areas. The maximum storage level at the dam is 142 ft. Idukki district has recorded a staggering 60.33 % excess rainfall since the onset of the southwest monsoon.

The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert (heavy to very heavy rainfall in most places) in Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur, Kasaragod, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Palakkad till Wednesday.

With another shutter in the Mattupetty dam raised on Tuesday, Munnar in Idukki was isolated. Tourists have been advised against visiting the hill town. The district administration has issued an alert to residents of Munnar, Muthirappuzha, Kallarkutty and Lower Periyar regions. Munnar recorded the day’s second-biggest rainfall, 12 cm, behind Ottappalam in Palakkad which clocked 13 cm.

In the south, an overflowing Pampa in Pathanamthitta district continued to prevent pilgrims from visiting the Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala for the niraputhari puja scheduled to be held on Wednesday. Thiruvananthapuram city received short bursts of heavy rain late in the evening.