Special Correspondent

Cyclone unleashes tidal action in the district

Thiruvananthapura:Whipped up by a severe cyclone in the Arabian Sea, high waves pounded the coastal areas of the district on Monday, breaching sea walls, flooding large tracts and damaging houses.

Revenue authorities evacuated 400 families after strong tidal action inundated the coast in the Neyyattinkara taluk. By evening, high waves continued to batter the coastline, threatening to displace more people.

Relief camps opened

The district administration opened two relief camps to house the families evacuated from the affected areas.

The worst erosion was reported from Kollengode, Pozhiyoor, Paruthiyoor and Karunkulam in Neyyattinkara and Panathura in Thiruvananthapuram taluk.

Officials said the sea walls were breached at several places, flooding long stretches of the coast. Relief camps were opened at Pozhiyoor Government UPS and St. Mathews High School.

According to Dr. P.V. Joseph, Emeritus Scientist, Cochin University of Science and Technology and former director, Meteorology Department, the tidal action was triggered by `Gonu,' a severe cyclonic storm brewing in the Arabian Sea. "Such cyclonic activity generates strong tidal action characterised by swell waves and sea waves all along the coast," he said.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued warning of a very severe tropical cyclonic storm. `Gonu,' the cyclone lay centred about 600 km southwest of Dwaraka.

The system is likely to intensify further and move in a North-westerly direction. It is expected to cross the coast of Oman by forenoon of June 6. The IMD has forecast stormy seas all along the coast for the next 24 hours.

Sea erosion likely

Mr. Joseph said the Kerala coast was likely to face severe sea erosion on Tuesday also under the influence of the cyclone.

Revenue authorities in the district are geared up to evacuate more families from the coast if the erosion intensifies.