Salem, Aug 4: Two flood warnings have been issued to 11 districts downstream of Mettur Dam after inflows from surplus water released by Karnataka touched 1.45 lakh cusecs, PWD sources said.
They said the water level today stood at 118.54 feet against the full level of 120 feet.
On Saturday, the officials in Salem and Dharmapuri have sounded a flood alert to residents living in areas along the banks of the Cauvery, after the Stanley Reservoir is about to reach its full capacity.
One of the largest fishing reservoirs in South India, Stanley reservoir is expected to reach its capacity of 120 feet for the first time in 8 years following the fresh and heavy discharge from Krishnaraja Sagar and Kabini reservoirs owing to heavy rains in the catchments in Karnataka.
According to sources, Salem Collector K Maharabushanam has issued the first flood warning to people living downstream and has initiated steps to facilitate evacuation in case of any emergency.
Besides a team of officials were closely monitoring the situation to deal with any eventuality. Sources also said that at 5.05 pm on Saturday, 1.3 lakh cusecs was flowing into the State following which the storage in the Mettur Dam rose to 115 feet.
Anticipating floods, the Public Works Department (PWD) and revenue officials, a few days ago warned residents of low lying areas to move to safer places.
The second warning was issued when the water level touched 117 feet and the third warning is likely to be issued after the dam attains the Full Reservoir Level (FRL).
Meanwhile, PWD sources said as and when the dam reaches its full capacity, all the inflow would be let out. It is expected that by 11 am, on Sunday, the discharge from Mettur will be about one lakh cusecs.
Flood warning has been issued to the people living along Cauvery in the districts of Salem, Erode, Trichy, Karur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Cuddalore. People are advised not to enter the river for washing and bathing purposes and to prevent their livestock from entering the river.
Hogenakkal on alert
Meanwhile, in Dharmapuri the increased flow has triggered flood fears. All the pathways to water falls, hanging bridge and boat house among other places in the tourist hub of Hogennakal have been closed by the district administration.
Residents of low-lying areas have been shifted to safer places and more than 50 families have provided shelter at a Panchayat Union Elementary School in Hogenakkal.
(With Agency inputs)