Mild, 5 in richter scale tremor can destroy Mullaperiyar dam

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Mullaperiyar Dam
Idukki, Nov 28: With the Mullaperiyar issue fire spreading to Delhi, the MP's are sitting on a hunger strike outside the Parliament seeking the centre's intervention on the issue. The matter gained prominence recently after the series of tremors in Idukki district where the dam is situated caused a major scare in the minds of residents. The issue has urged politicians in Kerala to take the matter to the higher authorities.

To make the matter worse, there has been a phenomenal rise in the water level of the dam which now stands at 136.4 feet which is much ahead of its capacity considering the age of the dam. Geological experts, after a deep study had given a verdict that the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam will not be able to withstand even a mild quake of 5 in the richter scale.

Idukki district had experienced as many as 23 mild tremors within the last 6 months heightening the fears of the widening of the cracks already existing in the dam. A detailed inspection conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology have also stated that the dam cannot withstand a quake measuring 5 in the richter scale.

The dam was built way back in 1895 by Major John Pennycuick who predicted a life span of 50 years for the dam. With the dam currently aged 116 years, the constant quakes in the area is only accelerating the damage. Seismologists had predicted that the 500 km radius around the Mullaperiyar dam was susceptible to a quake of upto 6.5 in the richter scale.

The IIT study also found the existence of around 22 primary seismic zones in the area. The added fact that the density of the water in the dam make it more prone to quakes, experts have commented that the tremors under the dam will lead to structural damages considering the age old dam.

OneIndia News

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