More than 11,000 homes in low-lying Kuttanad are likely to face fresh onslaught of rising waters.
Water level rose by three feet on Wednesday and authorities have issued a warning that the Kakki and Pamba dams may be opened any time now, which could further push up surging water levels by another two feet. If the shutters of the dams, now nearly full, are opened, water will enter the homes, already in knee-deep water at several places on Wednesday.
The Pamba dam, which has a built-up reservoir level of 986 metres, saw water rise to 985.6 metres on Wednesday. Kakki dam has a built-up level of 981 metres and water level on Wednesday was 979.42 metres.The rising water has isolated towns like Thakazhi, Muttar, Kainakari, Neerettupuram and Edathua as bus services have been suspended. The entire Kuttanad will be cut off from the rest of Kerala as the traffic authorities have banned all traffic on AC Road between Alappuzha and Changanassery from Wednesday night.
The rains have pounded the farmers as several hundred hectares under three- to four-week-old paddy crop have been lost to flooding. Around 250 acres of paddy in the Somathuram paddy collective went under as flood waters breached the outer bunds.
Farmers have incurred heavy expenditure in strengthening bunds in several paddy collectives. Four paddy field collectives in Kuttanadu have already reported breach of their outer bunds.
According to a rough estimate, at least a lakh people will be affected by the heavy rains and flooding. Around 80,000 people have already been shifted out of their homes in Kuttanadu and the revenue authorities have opened 30 relief camps.