Unprecedented inflow of water into TN; 8,400 in camps

Water gushing out of Kollidam river after it branches out from Cauvery in Mukkombu in Tiruchi on Friday. DH photo by E.T.B. Sivapriyan

With unprecedented rains continue to pound catchment areas in Karnataka and reservoirs releasing excess water, low-lying areas in most districts through which the Cauvery River passes through in Tamil Nadu are under water.

More than 8,400 people have been moved from their houses to safety in Namakkal, Erode, Kanniyakumari, Karur, Dharmapuri and Tiruchi districts with nearly 2 lakh cusecs of water being released from Mettur Dam, which receives huge inflow from Krishnaraja Sagar and Kabini dams in Karnataka.

Incessant rains in Valparai in Coimbatore district affected normal life yet again on Friday. Many areas in the town were under the water and it was completely cut-off from rest of the district.

In Mukkombu in Tiruchi district, where the Cauvery river splits into two – Cauvery and Kollidam – one could see water everywhere. While 63,000 cusecs of water is being released from Mukkombu into Cauvery river, the outflow into Kollidam is 1.35 lakh cusecs. Majority of the water that is released into Kollidam river merges into the sea at Poompuhar, though some amount goes to the Veeranam river that is one of the sources that meets the drinking needs of Chennai.

The worst-hit seems to be Thirumukkudal, a village in Karur district that falls at the confluence of three rivers – Cauvery, Bhavani Sagar and Amaravathi – where many people have been moved to safety. The unprecedented release of water from dams in Karnataka have flooded many low-lying areas on the banks of Cauvery in Tiruchi with temple tanks, irrigation tanks, river, lakes and ponds brimming with water.

11 districts – Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Salem, Erode, Karur, Namakkal, Tiruchi, Pudukkottai, Ariyalur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam – are already on high alert and all precautionary measures have been taken to evacuate those living in vulnerable areas to safety.

“A total of 8,410 people living in low-lying areas have been evacuated and moved to safer places. They have been provided with all facilities and food,” Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar told reporters at a press conference in Chennai.

He said so far 96 relief centres have been opened in six districts and more such centres have been kept ready in case of more low-lying areas coming under water. With Mullaperiyar dam, located in Kerala but maintained by Tamil Nadu, also reaching its maximum level, Vaigai reservoir in Theni district is fast filling up and might be opened if more water reaches it.

“We have alerted people about the situation and we are also asking people in low-lying areas to be alert,” Theni district collector Pallavi Baldev said.

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Unprecedented inflow of water into TN; 8,400 in camps

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