Kerala

Evacuation continues in high ranges

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Holiday today for all educational institutions in Kottayam in view of rain forecast

The four villages in the high ranges of Kottayam, where warnings of widespread landslips have been issued in view of the heavy-rain forecast, on Tuesday witnessed a massive exodus of people from their homes to the relief camps opened by the district administration.

According to officials, though the rainfall subsided in the district by Tuesday afternoon, the eastern parts of the Meenachil taluk have been put on high alert by taking into account the presence of a depression system in the Bay of Bengal.

Taking into account the rain forecast, District Collector P.K. Sudheer Babu declared holiday for all educational institutions in the district, including professional colleges and Anganwadis, on Wednesday.

The authorities have issued warnings of possible landslips in the high-ranges of Eerattupetta, Theekkoy, Thalanad, and Poonjar Thekkekara panchayats on August 14 and 15 and asked to people in the danger zones to move out to camps, at least during nights.

Meanwhile, a decision with regard to evacuating families from the landslip-prone locations of the Koottikkal panchayat was made during a meeting convened by the revenue officials at Mundakkayam on Tuesday.

29,097 people in camps

As on Tuesday evening, a total of 29,097 people from 8,690 families have been accommodated in the 159 relief camps functioning in Kottayam. The low-lying backwater areas on the western side of the district have been remaining under water for several days as the runoff water from the high-ranges refuses to recede owing to high tides in Vembanad Lake.

As per official estimates, as many as 11 houses were destroyed completely while 209 houses sustained damages during the monsoon this year.

The cumulative loss in the agriculture sector during the past five days stood at ₹61.41 crore.

With the water level continuing to rise, breach of bunds was reported from Aymanam, Kumarakom, Thalayazham, Vechoor, and Kallara panchayats. As on Tuesday, paddy saplings in 2449.90 hectares of land were destroyed completely.

Apart from paddy, crops scuh as rubber (25.46 ha - both tapping and non-tapping), bananas (123.88 ha), tapioca (88 ha), vegetables (49.80 ha) and other crops were destroyed in the heavy downpour.

Meanwhile, the district planning committee (DPC) will convene a meeting to coordinate flood relief activities at the district panchayat conference hall on Wednesday. The meeting will discuss supply of food and essential materials in relief camps in association with local self-government institutions.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 12:51:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/evacuation-continues-in-high-ranges/article29087202.ece

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