Aging infrastructure strikes again?
A gate breached at the Krishnagiri Dam on the Thenpennai River in Tamil Nadu, India, earlier this week, multiple news agencies have reported.
Water level in the reservoir at the time of the breach was 51 feet; the reservoir has a total capacity of 52 feet. It had been slowly filling back to its capacity for three months, after being low for eight years.
The ogee-type gate (also called a shutter) is reported to have initially breached laterally from the pressure of the water, allowing water to flow through on both sides. The gate (shutter) gave way to the force of the water. More than 4,000 cusecs of water had been released from the reservoir in just a few hours, compared with an outflow of 316 cusecs before the breach.
No specific information has been released on environmental effects of this unexpected flow.
The dam impounds water for irrigation, and it was to be released in January to irrigate more than 25,000 acres. The gravity dam began operating in November 1957 and is 990.59 m long and 29.26 m high above the foundation.
The Times of India reported today that “a high-level team of engineers and experts” have inspected the damaged gate (shutter) and will carry out repair work when the water reaches 37 feet. Several gates have been opened to release water from the reservoir to accomplish this.
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