Kerala

Kerala rains | A grim picture of nature’s fury

A waterlogged house at Nagampadam in Kottayam on Monday. Vishnu Prathapan.   | Photo Credit: Vishnu Prathapan

Two days after a series of landslips struck the eastern high range areas of Kottayam district on Saturday, evidence of the worst disaster in the region’s history that claimed 13 lives lay bare everywhere.

A preliminary assessment by the authorities showed that 62 houses had been destroyed while 161 were damaged in the landslips and floods. Kanjirappally taluk, where 62 houses had been destroyed, was the worst-affected region while 16 houses were damaged in Meenachil taluk. Two houses were damaged in Changanassery taluk.

Along riverbanks

Most of the houses, which were destroyed, were located on the banks of the Pullakayar and the Meenachil rivers.

As these two rivers breached their banks and water level rose to unexpected levels, scores of houses were washed away in Koottickal, Mundakkayam and Manimala panchayats.

It could take months before lives of the affected get back to normal. The impact of the deluge, according to local residents, could have been much graver had it happened in the night.

The district Agriculture Department has assessed a preliminary loss of ₹18.02 crore to the farm sector in the district over the past three days. Agriculture crops in around 1,118.75 ha were destroyed in Erattupetta, Kaduthuruthy, Pala, Pampadi, Vaikom and Vazhoor blocks, creating loss to 3,969 farmers.

Worst-hit

Vaikom block was the worst-hit, where crops in about 1,054.66 ha belonging to 2,800 farmers were destroyed. While losses have been reported in 22.80 ha of land in Pampady, 21.24 ha in Erattupetta and 17.60 ha in Vazhoor, damage to crops was reported only in 1 ha in Kaduthuruthy and 1.45 ha in Pala.

Details of damaged crops by area are — paddy - 1,070.800 ha, Cardamom - 100 ha, tapioca - 12 ha, vegetables - 5.340 ha, and pineapple - 0.04 ha.

Apart from these, damage was reported to coconut (124), banana (17412), rubber trees (976), squash (30), cocoa (45), coffee (450), pepper (530), and cloves (60) as well.

The rain and floods have also caused a loss of ₹18 lakh to the dairy sector in the district.

Dairy sector

According to Sylvie Mathew, Deputy Director, Dairy Development Department, the losses were primarily reported in Kanjirappally, Erattupetta and Ettumannur blocks.

Nine cattle sheds were destroyed and 11 damaged. Apart from the death of two cows, 100 sacks of fodder and 1,000 kg of straw were destroyed in the floods. A four-and-a-half-acre fodder farm too was submerged.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 12:42:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-grim-picture-of-natures-fury/article37062162.ece

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