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India's Kerala accuses neighboring Tamil Nadu of causing flood disaster

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Staff Writer | August 25, 2018
Kerala flood
Asia   A blame game has begun

A blame game has begun between India's two southern states - Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the cause of the devastating floods which claimed nearly 370 lives and left over 1.3 million people homeless in Kerala.

The government of Kerala told the country's apex court - Supreme Court of India, on Friday that the floods occurred because its neighboring state Tamil Nadu released water from its Mullaperiyar dam.

The sudden release of water caused an "overload" in the Idukki reservoir, in Kerala, downstream and water had to be released, Kerala said in an affidavit in the Supreme Court, filed in response to a petition that wanted a reduction of water level at the Mullaperiyar dam.

In its petition, Kerala stated that it had repeatedly suggested to Tamil Nadu to "gradually" release water from Mullaperiyar dam, but the latter did not pay heed to it.

Tamil Nadu contended that it released water on Aug. 16, nearly a week after floods situation erupted in Kerala, which was battered by torrential rains since Aug. 8 that partly led to the worst ever monsoons in a century.

In its counter-affidavit submitted before the apex court, Tamil Nadu government stated that the volume of water released from its Mullaperiyar dam to Idukki dam in Kerala was far less than the quantity exceeded by Idukki and Idamalaiyar dams (in Kerala).

The next date of hearing is scheduled for Sept. 6.

Meanwhile, those affected by the deluge said water suddenly gushed into their homes in the wee hours of Aug. 15 when they were still asleep, and that there was "no prior warning" from the state administration.

K.A. Jose, a resident of Chengannur area of flood-affected Alappuzha district, told Xinhua that he and his wife heard water coming into their home on the night of Aug. 14-15, first through the sewerage system and then from beneath the doors.

His house is located on the banks of Pampa river which is connected to Kakki and Pampa dams situated in the state.

But the state's Water Resources Minister Mathew Thomas said they had issued the warning through television and radio media alerting the people about the impending floods.

"We had issued floods warning on the night of August 14-15, but then everything happened so fast," the minister told Xinhua.


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