Heavy rain, strong winds lash parts of State

People shifting their belongings from their flooded homes at Eriyad near Kodungalloor in Thrissur on Saturday.  

Torrential rainfall and strong winds lashed Kerala districts on Saturday also under the influence of Cyclone Tauktae, causing extensive damage to crops and buildings and forcing district administrations to relocate more people to relief camps.

As of Saturday, 2,094 people from 543 families had been evacuated to 71 camps opened in the State this month, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. Two people from Ernakulam and Kozhikode districts lost their lives in the rain havoc in the past two days.

During the two days, the State recorded an average rainfall of 145.5 mm, while Kochi and Peermade stations recorded above 200 mm in a 24-hour period, Mr. Vijayan said, citing IMD data. Severe sea erosion persists in all the nine coastal districts, triggering a crisis.

Seawalls cannot be viewed as the ultimate solution to sea erosion, the Chief Minister noted, stressing the importance of 'Punargeham,' the government project to resettle people residing within 50 metres of the tide zone.

In Kozhikode district, 125 families were relocated from the coastal areas on Saturday. A majority of the evacuees moved to the homes of relatives. In Ernakulam district, nearly 250 people from over 60 families were shifted to four relief camps at Chellanam.

Two more relief camps were opened at Thrikkunnapuzha and Arattuppuzha in Alappuzha district. Sea erosion is severe in the coastal stretches of Cherthala, Ambalappuzha, and Karthikappally taluks. The Irrigation Department opened the Thottappally 'pozhi' mouth to drain floodwaters from Kuttanad into the sea. The shutters of the Thanneermukkom bund also have been opened.

In Thiruvananthapuram district, 1,128 people from 293 families were relocated to relief camps. The district also reported 11 houses as destroyed and 228 houses damaged in the rain havoc.

As many as 144 houses have collapsed either partially or fully during the summer rains this year in Pathanamthitta. Of this, at least 30 houses were damaged in the past two days. The district also reported crop damage in 248 hectares. Low-lying areas of Kottayam municipality and adjoining villages of Kumarakom, Aymanaam and Arpookkara have been inundated by runoff water from the high ranges.

Water levels have risen in the Meenachil, Pampa and Manimalayar rivers, although they are well within the danger mark. Several families were evacuated to safer locations in Kannur and Kasaragod districts also.

Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has scrambled to repair overhead lines and poles damaged in the strong winds in several districts.

With Cyclone Tauktae moving further north over the Arabian Sea, rainfall is likely to decrease over Kerala by Sunday, although most districts are likely to receive isolated heavy rainfall. Ernakulam, Idukki and Malappuram are on orange alert for isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall. The remaining 11 districts are on yellow alert for isolated heavy rainfall.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 6:32:50 AM |

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