The Southern Naval Command has been put on alert in view of the dangerously rising water level in Kerala’s Periyar river owing to incessant heavy monsoon rains in the state that has claimed over 28 lives so far.
There is fear of inundation of parts of Kochi’s Wellingdon Island, the largest artificial island in the country, that is surrounded by the backwaters of Kochi. It houses strategic facilities, including the Southern Naval Command and the Cochin Port Trust.
The Navy has made preparation to meet any situation arising out of the possible inundation of the island, following the opening of shutters of three dams of Cheruthoni, Idamalayar and Kakki, the Defence spokesperson said.
“We will take all necessary steps to ensure that important installations in the island are not affected," the spokesman told PTI.
The water level will rise in downstream districts with the released excess water from the dams reaching there. Areas in Kuttanad Taluk are likely to be affected, sources said.
The spokesperson said three contingents (50 men each) from INS Dronacharya, Venduruthy and Naval Air station INS Garuda are ready to be deployed as and when required, besides a medical team from the INHS Sanjivani. The Southern Naval Command is also geared up to contribute to community kitchens, he said.
As heavy rains continued to lash various parts of the southern state, five more shutters of the Cheruthoni dam, part of the Idukki reservoir, were opened today releasing 7 lakh litres of water per second as the level touched around 2,401.5 feet. For the first time in the last 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni dam was opened on Thursday and two more were opened at 7 am on Saturday. The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet (in relation to mean sea level).
(With inputs from agencies)