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Kerala - Alappuzha Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Many areas in Cherthala, Alappuzha town submerged

Staff Reporter

Over 1,000 families shifted to relief camps; ripe paddy crop in Kuttanad under threat of damage

— Photo: By Special Arrangement

Waterlogged: The Nadakavu Road in Cherthala, which was among the several places in Cherthala taluk that were inundated following incessant

ALAPPUZHA: Heavy rain that lashed the district since Thursday night, and which was continuing even late on Friday, has submerged a major portion of the Cherthala Taluk and several low-lying areas in the district headquarters, apart from threatening to damage several hectares of ripe paddy crop in Kuttanad.

Maximum damage was reported from Cherthala, where submersion of this magnitude is being reported for the first time in the last two decades, leaving authorities perplexed whether a single night's rain could cause so much damage, particularly when heavier rain was less troublesome.

According to information collected from various sources, over 1,000 families had to be evacuated and shifted to about 40 camps opened at different places, including Kuthiathode, Panavally, Pattanakad, Thycauttussery, Pallipuram and Kodanthuruth while the rising water-levels in the low-lying regions of the area, including Thuravur and Arookutty, could force more camps to be opened, officials said. There were reports of several houses being inundated in these low-lying areas. District Collector P. Venugopal, who visited the affected areas on Friday morning, said the situation was being monitored round-the-clock. Arrangements were in place to provide food and medicines, if necessary, to the families that were shifted to the relief camps.

All educational institutions in Cherthala taluk would remain closed till the situation eased, Mr. Venugopal said, adding that the district administration was placed on an alert.

The Collector has ordered to open the shutters of the Andhakaranazhi gate to allow the water to flow into the sea. On the coastal belt, though no families had to be evacuated so far, the situation could change any moment with strong winds and the sea continuing to be rough. Fishermen have not ventured out into the sea since last night. Those residing in the coasts have been warned of strong winds as well.

Among the spots that were hit badly were the Trauma Care Centre on beside the National Highway-47 at Aroor, where patients had to be shifted to shops nearby in the middle of the night. About 60 sacks of sugar stored in a godown in Poochakal were damaged while shops all across the low-lying areas in Cherthala reported heavy damage to goods.

In the district headquarters, the water-level in the canals were rising as garbage was preventing free flow of water, leading to inundation of areas, including Valiyakulam, Eravukad, Vattayal, Civil Station Ward and the Palace Ward among others.

In Kuttanad, several hectares of ripe paddy crop from the second round of cultivation and the harvest of which had begun a few days ago, face the threat of being damaged with several paddy fields already being submerged. There are reports of many low-lying areas in the perennially water-logged region being submerged too.

Control rooms opened

Staff Reporter writes from Kottayam: With incessant rain lashing parts of the district for the second day on Friday, the western low-lying areas are under the threat of inundation.

Though rain receded in the afternoon on Friday, the district authorities have opened control rooms at the district and taluk levels.

The worst hit areas are Vaikom and Thalayazhom, where many of the low-lying areas are already inundated. The Infant Jesus UP School at Vadayar was given permission to declare a holiday following inundation of its campus.

The paddy cultivators of the upper Kuttanad area remained apprehensive as the paddy, ready for harvest, are under threat of inundation. If the rains continued for another 48 hours, ripe paddy would be inundated.

Meanwhile, the work on replacing the girders by the railways on the Kottayam-Ernakulam route was affected on account of the heavy rains.

In case of emergency, contact the control rooms: district collectorate: 0481-2562201/ 2562650; Kottayam taluk office: 0481-2568007; Vaikom: 04829-231331; Kanjirappally: 04828-202331; Meenachil: 04822-212325; and Changanassery: 0481-24220037.

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