Kerala

Continuous rain slows down life in Ernakulam district

From Chellanam panchayat on the Kochi coast to Kuttampuzha panchayat about 71 km east of Kochi sharing border with Tamil Nadu, heavy and light spells of rain throughout Saturday slowed down life in Ernakulam district. While no loss of life has been reported, the rainwaters, especially in the eastern areas, have flooded rice paddies and vegetable fields and disrupted traffic.

Vazhakulam town near Muvattupuzha, about 40 km east of Kochi and the heart of Kerala’s pineapple belt, was flooded, said Ullas Thomas, president of Ernakulam district panchayat. He said the Muvattupuzha-Thodupuzha road was flooded at Vazhakulam and only heavy vehicles were able to negotiate the floodwaters. He said the waterlogging was the result of torrential rain that began from the early hours of Saturday even as the weather records showed Muvattupuzha received 29 mm of rain between 8.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. on Saturday.

The Kochi Corporation area has not seen any major disruption in life due to the rain. No serious flooding has been reported from any part of the city till about 5 p.m. on Saturday, said Henry Austin, member of the development standing committee. He said minor issues had cropped up in some of the areas, which had seen similar problems in the past.

The situation is not distressing for Eloor and Kalamassery areas, which are among the first urban bodies in the district to face the fury of heavy rain and subsequent flooding. Similarly, the Container Road linking Kalamassery and the Container Transshipment Terminal, Kadamakkudy, Cheranalloor and Paravur have not reported any cases of flooding.

In Mattoor village in Aluva taluk, members of two families, including a newborn, were shifted to shelters after their houses were flooded.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted extremely heavy rainfall, up to 204 mm, on Saturday while the district is likely to receive light to medium rainfall between Sunday and Thursday.

Director of Cochin University’s Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research S. Abhilash said it looked like instances of mini cloud bursts had occurred over the region. Mini cloud bursts are occurrences of intense short spells which may not exceed 100 mm of rain an hour. It was possible that several spots could receive up to 200 mm of rain till 8.30 a.m. on Sunday, he added.

The Muvattupuzha block has seen vast swathes of paddy cultivation being flooded as farmers were getting ready to harvest the crop. There is serious fear of losing at least a part of the harvest to the flooding. Vegetables and tapioca are among other crops that have been affected. According to Agriculture Department sources, the more serious impact will be on the Mundakan season (second in the yearly cycle), which is more important for the farmers in the eastern areas of the district. It was time to start field preparations for the second crop, but flooded fields would prevent all operations for a long while, added department sources. Mundakan crop is crucial to farmers in Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam, Piravom, and Puthenkurisu areas.

The coastal village of Chellanam appears to have been spared by the weather. Despite heavy rain pounding the coast from the early hours of Saturday, there has been no flooding. The sea was rough but not threatening so far, said T.A. Dalphin of Paschima Kochi Theera Samrakshana Samithi. He said the rains had been incessant, sometimes pouring down and at times a light drizzle.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring panchayat of Kumbalanghi has not been so lucky. Low-lying areas close to the Kochi backwaters have been flooded though no families have been relocated so far. According to weather reports, Palluruthy, which borders Kumbalanghi, received 27.5 mm of rain between 8.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. on Saturday. The link road between Palluruthy and Kumbalanghi between the Koventa Junction and Kumbalanghi was flooded, said a local resident.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 7:27:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/continuous-rain-slows-down-life-in-ernakulam-district/article37024864.ece

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