UNUSUAL FURY: Copious water in the Vaigai after days of rains. However, the unusual water levels pose a threat to hundreds living in low-lying areas
A second flood warning was issued as water levels in the Vaigai dam crossed 68.5 feet on Friday morning. People living in low lying areas along the banks of the river have been asked to move to safer places.
The Public Works Department will issue a third warning if the level crosses 69 feet. There was bright sunshine almost throughout the day and water, which was flowing over the causeways along the Vaigai in the city, receded. A high-level team of PWD officials, led by the Principal Chief Engineer, Jayaraman, inspected the work of removing weeds and strengthening of bunds in the Vaigai. The inspection follows a directive from the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, M. K. Alagiri, who visited the rain-hit areas in the city on Thursday, asking the officials to remove the weeds for smooth flow of water.
The body of a final year engineering student, M. Dhanasekarapandian (21) of K. Pudur, who accidentally fell into the river while crossing a causeway on Tuesday night, was found in the middle of the Vaigai near the ‘mayya mandapam’ in the morning. Teams of Fire and Rescue Services Department were deployed to search for the body.
Water level in the Periyar dam stood at 132.9 feet (full level 136 feet). It had an inflow of 2649 cusecs and discharge of 1418 cusecs. Water stood at 68.67 feet (71 feet) in the Vaigai dam on Thursday evening, with the reservoir registering an inflow of 2285 cusecs and discharge of 1260 cusecs. The combined Periyar-Vaigai credit was put at 7382 mcft by the PWD officials.Madurai recorded the highest rainfall of 66.4 mm in the region, followed by Edayapatti 50.6, Chittampatti 28.8, Kallandiri 16.8, Andipatti 6, Shanmuganadhi 3, Periyar dam 2, Pulipatti 2, Sathiyar dam 1.5, Thaniyamangalam 1.5, Peranai and Melur 1 each.A flood control room has been started at the Collectorate here to expedite relief and rescue operations in case of floods. Public can dial (0452) 2527239 to pass on information about flooding or seek help.
A meeting of officials of various departments was held at the Collectorate to take stock of the rain situation in Madurai district. The District Revenue Officer, Dinesh Oliver Ponraj, who chaired the meeting, asked the revenue officials to take up strengthening work wherever the bunds of water bodies were found to be weak. Revenue inspectors and village administrative officers were asked to report the rainfall situation and floods to the respective tahsildars who would file daily reports. All possible steps should be taken to prevent loss of lives in the event of floods. Officials were asked to coordinate with the police and fire and rescue service personnel while undertaking rescue and relief operations. Madurai Corporation officials were informed that they should keep schools and marriage halls free to accommodate people affected by rains. Health officials should undertake measures to prevent the outbreak of diseases.
The Government Rajaji Hospital would stock essential drugs in adequate quantity. The highways department staff was directed to undertake road repair and remove trees that fell on roads. Tamil Nadu Electricity Board employees should ensure that no loss of life was reported when live wires snapped, according to an official press release