Wayanad locality fears repeat of last year’s rain calamities

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Panamaram: Panic has gripped the residents of Kurumbalakkotta in Wayanad district following the onset of the monsoon as they have vivid memories of the landslides in the area and cracks seen on the ground during last year’s rains.

Several houses had suffered damage after flood waters and mud flowed through them. Residents of such houses have already made arrangements to shift to rented accommodation this year in case the rain intensifies.

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Last year, severe landslides were witnessed at Kurumbalakkotta, which comes under the Panamaram and Kottathara panchayats. After the rains, fissures developed on the ground at many places. Moreover, several tarred roads, including those to Vilakkumadam and Kurishumala from Compression Mukku, were devastated. A number of houses and other buildings also suffered serious damage; Adivasi dwellings and the primary health centre were among them.

At least 14 landslips had been reported, apart from cracks extending to several kilometres at Compression Mukku, Karadikuzhi and Kurambala. According to local people, this was the worst natural calamity experienced in the area in nearly 60 years. Rocks which had tumbled down the hill can still be seen stuck between trees. The worst landslips had occurred on the hilltop at Kurumbalakkotta and near the Bhagavathy Temple. Large tracts of farmlands also were destroyed.

After the disaster, experts from Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, Geology Department and Soil Conservation Department had conducted checks at Kurumbalakkotta. However, no follow-up action was taken.

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