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Tourists stay off beaches as rough sea plays spoilsport

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OUT OF BOUNDS: Crossed red flags and a signboard put up on Kovalam beach to warn tourists against the rough sea on Monday. Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar
OUT OF BOUNDS: Crossed red flags and a signboard put up on Kovalam beach to warn tourists against the rough sea on Monday. Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar

Staff Reporter

KOVALAM: The Light House and Eve's beaches of Kovalam resort wore a deserted look on Monday afternoon following panic created by the evacuation of the tourists on Sunday after the sea turned rough off Kovalam and on account of inclement weather.

Crossed red flags, which indicate danger, and warning boards of Kerala Tourism greeted the visitors at the two beaches. Except for a couple seated beneath a beach umbrella and another couple swimming near Edakkal rocks, the foreign tourists preferred to sit inside the restaurants dotting the Light House and Eve's beaches.

The sea, which remains calm during this part of the year, was rough. Black sand, washed on the beaches during the monsoon, could be spotted in many areas. Hardly a dozen beach umbrellas were seen on the Light House beach.

Those leasing out surfboards and cots were hit by the sudden evacuation of tourists from the beaches.

A builder from Dorset in the United Kingdom, John Hills, told The Hindu that utter confusion prevailed on Sunday when they were evacuated from the beaches.

"Many were heard saying that tsunami had hit the beach resort of Varkala. The lifeguards did a wonderful job in clearing the beaches. However, there was no official word from authorities," says Mr. Hills, who has been here since December 6.

The lifeguards were seen preventing those who ventured into the sea from going too far.

Ayyappa devotees from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, who were returning after Makaravilakku festival at Sabarimala, were seen on the beaches in good numbers.

The incessant drizzle did not prevent workers from putting up new beach umbrellas on the Light House beach. Near Edakkal rocks, the local fishermen were engaged in repairing their nets and fishing gear.

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