Rain fury continues unabated in Ernakulam, low-lying areas flooded

Hundreds of houses at Kuttikkattukara in Eloor remained flooded on Tuesday.  

Hundreds of houses at Kuttikkattukara in Eloor remained flooded on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: R.K. NITHIN

The waterlogged KSRTC bus stand in Ernakulam on Tuesday.

The waterlogged KSRTC bus stand in Ernakulam on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

People offering ‘Bali’ on the shores of the Periyar near the submerged Siva Temple in Aluva on Tuesday.

People offering ‘Bali’ on the shores of the Periyar near the submerged Siva Temple in Aluva on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Normal life in low-lying areas close to the Periyar and Muvattupuzha rivers was affected on Tuesday as floodwaters entered several homes following heavy rain and strong winds that lashed Ernakulam district.

Over 500 persons belonging to 158 families were shifted to 11 relief camps opened in North Paravur, Aluva, Muvattupuzha, and Kothamangalam. The water levels in both the rivers shot up on Tuesday morning after the district recorded heavy rain and strong winds from Monday night onwards. All the shutters of the Bhoothathankettu barrage were kept open after the water level reached 29 m against the full reservoir level of 34.95 m at 8 a.m.

Bhoothathankettu along the Periyar river basin received rainfall of 211.6 mm while Keeramapara received 198.4 mm of rain. The corresponding figures were 181 mm for Neriamangalam, and 178.8 mm for Aluva. In the Muvattupuzha river basin, Piravom received 146.4 mm rainfall and Vannappuram received 124.4 mm, according to official estimates.

District Collector Renu Raj declared a holiday for all educational institutions in the district on August 3 in view of the continuing red alert status for Ernakulam. Though the water level at the bridges at Marthandavarma, Mangalapuzha, and Kalady along the Periyar river basin was above the flood warning level up to 10 a.m., it started receding in the afternoon. However, the water level in the Muvattupuzha river remained at the danger level from morning onwards. A 25-member team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be deployed to meet any emergency situation.

The floodwaters left many families in Kothamangalam and Muvattupuzha taluks stranded in their homes on Tuesday morning. Several families had shifted their belongings to safer destinations, anticipating an increase in water levels. Several homes at Kuttikattukara in Eloor municipality were inundated. The residents alleged that encroachments along the banks of the Periyar had triggered flooding in the area. Twenty families of Idamula ward were shifted to relief camps. Two foreigners and a family from Fort Kochi were rescued by the fire force personnel and the police from a private resort near Kodanad after floodwaters entered the tourist spot.

Stating that the heavy rain would continue for a couple of days, Ajil Kottayil, scientist at the Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research at the Cochin University of Science and Technology, said the automatic weather station placed at the radar facility on the campus had recorded rainfall of 105 mm on Monday midnight. The rainfall recorded showed a decline on Tuesday as it was around 32 mm in the evening. A cyclonic circulation exists over the Tamil Nadu coast, the Andhra coast and the north-eastern Bay of Bengal, which is favourable for the intensification of rainfall over Kerala. The conditions were strengthening the monsoon low level jet stream over Kerala, he added.

A meeting convened by Industries Minister P. Rajeeve on Tuesday morning said the flood situation in the district was under control. The Irrigation department has been told to keep all shutters of Pathalam, Purappillikavu and Kanakkankadavu bunds open.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2022 11:02:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/rain-fury-continues-unabated-in-ernakulam-low-lying-areas-flooded/article65716231.ece