Kochi

Rain leaves a trail of destruction in coastal areas of Ernakulam

More than a hundred houses have become unliveable in Chellanam.  

The coastal segment of the district stretching from South Chellanam to Nayarambalam has been devastated by floods caused by swell waves triggered by the spell of heavy rain following a low pressure area build-up in the Lakshadweep sea since early hours of Friday.

The western areas of the Elamkunnappuzha are not as badly affected as the Chellanam panchayat but the situation is grim, said Razia Jamal, panchayat member. She said that Puthuvype, Valappu, Malippuram and Murikkumpadam have been devastated by the floods.

Dozens of houses close to the beach have collapsed. Many have sunk down into the sand and need to be rebuilt completely before people can occupy them again, said I.S. Nixon, a former member of the panchayat. He, however, said that the situation appeared to have improved a little on Sunday with lower intensity rain throughout the day. He said the coastal road was flooded and a long segment of the road remained under water even on Sunday.

The situation in the coastal segments of the Edavanakkad panchayat is equally grim. V.U. Dasan, a resident of the panchayat, said that eight houses have been flooded but people are refusing to move to the lone relief camp opened in the panchayat because of the COVID-19 fear. The sea wall protecting the beach at Aniyil got devastated over the years and the sea incursion has eaten away the beach to a large extent, he added.

Situation eases

The situation at Chellanam has eased a little but it will be difficult to return to homes immediately, said T.A. Dalfin of Paschima Kochi Theera Samrakshana Samithi.

He said that the relief camps opened for the people of Chellanam had not evoked great response mostly because of the pandemic fear even as the panchayat is in the grip of severe social spread of the viral disease.

Father Dani Anthony, who is part of a charity organisation running an ashram, said the situation had eased a little but several dozens of people who had taken shelter at the Cortina Hospital were not in a position to move out immediately on Sunday.

Mr. Dalfin said that more than a hundred houses had been rendered unliveable in the rain and flooding so far. Eighty-five per cent of the 10,3000 houses in the Chellanam panchayat have been flooded, he said.

Only about 15% of the houses in the panchayat, most of them away from the beach, have been spared the hardship.

The areas flooded include three fishers’ colonies where life has been rendered almost impossible now. Malikappadi and Companippadi colony dwellers need to be rehabilitated, he added.

Authorities slammed

Foji John, a resident of Chellanam, said the authorities, who should have provided protection to the lives and property of people, had utterly failed. He said people had lost what they had saved during a life time of work and they are being forced to flee their homes because of the failure of the authorities. Administrators have been giving hollow promises, he alleged but called on them to wake up and work to protect people and their lives.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 7:55:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/rain-leaves-a-trail-of-destruction-in-coastal-areas-of-ernakulam/article34572463.ece

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