Power outage in many places, including Cliff House; supply likely by evening

A heavy thunderstorm that lashed the district after 5 p.m. on Sunday left a vast trail of destruction, uprooting many trees and over a 100 electric poles, tripping power supply in several areas, triggering long traffic blocks and inundating low-lying areas. No casualties were reported after the rain, pegged at 33.4 mm from 5.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. It was attributed to the sudden formation of a cumulonimbus cloud over the sea.

District Collector Biju Prabhakar, who visited the affected areas, said the maximum damage was reported in the city. Fire and Rescue Services personnel, emergency teams of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Police, and Revenue were pressed into service to extend relief wherever required, he said.

Trees collapse

The widespread power outage after the storm was the result of trees collapsing over power lines, dragging down electric poles in three spots including Plavode and Kulasekharam at Vattiyurkavu. As a precautionary measure, many transformers in the city were switched off to isolate faulty areas. Restoration work was in progress, but normal supply to many parts was expected to be restored only by Monday evening, Ravi Varman, Executive Engineer, KSEB, Thiruvananthapuram division, said.

Across the 14 sections of the board in the city, both day- and night-shift crew and contract workers were pressed into service for repairs. “If the inclement weather persists, power restoration could be delayed,” Mr. Ravi Varman said.

The supply was affected right from the Chief Minister’s official residence at Cliff House, the Cantonment House, Kerala University area, AKG Centre, Kovalam, Powdikonam, Chellamangalam, Pongamoodu, Akkulam, and Cheruvakkal where the lines were broken resulting in power outages. In areas including Vellayambalam, Thirumala, Peroorkada, Ambalamukku, Cantonment police station area, Poojappura, Manacaud, and Poonthura, more than 100 electric posts were uprooted. KSEB officials said the 66kV distribution line from the Paruthipara sub-station to the Veli sub-station and Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) was snapped by lightning at Sreekariyam.

Trapped in cars

In the city, meanwhile, uprooted trees trapped persons inside their cars near the YWCA and near the Uppidamoodu Bridge.

Fire and Rescue Services personnel had to toil for nearly an hour to help them out of the vehicle. Four persons were trapped inside a car near YWCA, and one man near Uppidamoodu Bridge. Another man sustained injuries when he was caught under a tree at Vattiyurkavu. Huge trees fell over buildings and roads at several places, including over the Cantonment Gate of the Secretariat, near the Press Club, Edappazhinji, Vanchiyoor, Vazhuthacaud, Kunnukuzhy RC Junction, Kesavadasapuram, Thampanoor and Vizhinjam, leading to traffic snarls on several thoroughfares as well.

A few houses were damaged at Elippode near PTP Nagar, Mr. Prabhakar said. The actual extent of the damage would be ascertained by Monday.

The Central Fire Station received over 80 distress calls in two hours with fire engines being called in from the Attingal, Varkala, Kazhakuttam, Nedumangadu, Poovar, and Neyyattinkara fire stations.