25 houses damaged, city gripped by power outages; emergency aid sanctioned to families of the dead

Three persons lost their lives, 25 houses were damaged, and numerous power lines snapped by falling trees in the heavy rain and strong wind that intermittently lashed the capital district on Monday.

Ambili, 54, who was travelling in an autorickshaw was crushed to death when an uprooted tree crashed into the vehicle near Thirumala junction. Vincent, a seller of mattresses, was electrocuted near Edapazhanji when a tree fell onto a power line and snapped it. Vincent was passing underneath at the time. At Karippur village in Nedumangad, Thulasidharan, 45, who was working in a plantain grove was electrocuted when a falling tree caused an overhead power line to snap and fall.

The district administration has sanctioned Rs.10,000 as emergency aid to the families of the dead.

P.K. Girija, Additional District Magistrate holding charge of District Collector, told The Hindu on Monday night that 25 houses at Poonthura, Valiathura, and Manikkavilakom were damaged in the strong rain and wind. One house had its sheet roof blown off; the family was shifted to a safe location.

Transport Minister V.S. Sivakumar who toured the affected areas had ordered the district administration to provide all necessary assistance to the families, she said.

Power disruptions

Falling trees snapped power lines in at least 36 locations in the city, causing power outages lasting hours in many areas. Officials of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) said here that in many areas, power disruptions lasted a minimum of five hours.

KSEB officials said power lines snapped at five places at Nalanchira, four places at Sreekaryam, three places at Mancaud, two places at Kulathoor, two places at Shanghumughom, and in the Fort, Vattiyurkavu, Thiruvallam, Pettah, Vellayani, Ulloor, Peroorkada, and Cantonment areas.

Falling trees caused power lines to snap at Chithra Nagar at Edapazhanji; Chempakasseri junction; Chempazhanthi; Manvila; Kalpana Road near Kazhakuttam; Mosque Lane near Kesavadasapuram; Oruvathilkkotta; Poojappura; Thiruvallam; and Udaya Gardens at Ulloor.

Fire and Rescue Services said all fire tenders available in the city’s fire stations worked through the day to cut away fallen trees or branches and snapped power lines. Rescue services personnel said a big tree standing in the compound of the official residence of Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan fell on the building’s car porch, damaging it.

A clump of trees on the Cliff House premises got uprooted and fell on to the nearby road.

A house in the Golf Links area was damaged when a tree on the Golf Club premises came crashing down on it.

On Monday, the city soaked in 2.4 cm of rain between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. The Meteorological office here said many places in the State could experience thundershowers and strong winds in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Onshore wind speeds could go up to 55 kilometres per hour, it said.