When most residents of Porikara Sandhu, off Avanashi Road, Peelamedu, returned home on Thursday, they found sewage, filth and slush inside and television sets, bedding, rice, pulses and vegetables outside.
Rainwater that entered their thatched and tile-roofed homes on Wednesday evening took away whatever they had earned – for the day and life.
The residents spent the next few hours throwing out the waste, cleaning and retrieving whatever they could. “When I returned home, I saw pillows, bed, rice, flour, vessels and almost everything that I had float,” laments P. Ravi, a resident. A few of those residents, who had cement floors, were lucky. Their cleaning job was relatively easy. “How am I going to collect the rice that is mixed with the slush,” asks Vijaya Murugan, another resident. She had kept rice in a bag on the floor.
The locality, which comes under new Ward 39 of the Coimbatore Corporation, has about 350 houses that belong to daily wagers.
R. Pattiamma shares Ms. Vijaya's plight. The wheat flour, groundnut and other food items she had is not to be seen.
For others like V. Satheesh, a painter, the rain has damaged a portion of the house. Cracked wall, half-closed tile roof and the three stones that make the stove are the remains of what was kitchen until Wednesday morning. The rain did similar damage to various low-lying localities across the city – particularly the slum along Valangkulam, in Ukkadam, Puliakulam and Ammankulam. The Corporation rushed lorries with motors to the spot to pump out water. They also deployed electric saws to cut trees that fell on roads, blocking traffic. “The tree-cutting operations went on till 3 a.m. Thursday,” says Corporation Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy.
The Corporation has alerted its health teams, which are ready with bleaching powder, anti-malarial kits and medicines to check outbreak of any diseases. Corporation-run schools and community halls are also ready to accommodate people.
The rainfall the city recorded in mm in the 24 hours that ended 8.30 a.m. Thursday: Coimbatore South - 74, Peelamedu - 25.50, Periyanaickenpalayam - 31, Sulur - 30, TNAU - 24, Chinna Kallar – 22, and Valparai Taluk - 40. The district recorded 317.50 mm rain and the average was 26.46 mm.
According to PWD, the rainfall recorded in Parambikulam Aliyar Project region is as follows: Thoonakadavu – 26, Peruvaripallam - 37, Upper Nirar - 22, Lower Nirar - 24, Valparai - 36, Pollachi - one and Pongalur - 62. The following are the water levels in dams in the region: Sholayar - 160.65 feet as against full reservoir level (FRL) of 160 feet, Parambikulam - 70.38 feet as against an FRL of 72 feet, Aliyar - 115.10 feet as against an FRL of 120, Thirumurthy - 36.65 feet as against an FRL of 60, and Amaravathy - 29.66 feet as against an FRL of 90 feet.
Keywords: Rains in Coimbatore