Flood situation turns grim in Alappuzha, central Kerala witnesses heavy damage

Alappuzha District Collector Haritha V Kumar visited the region, where the situation is expected to turn grimmer on Thursday. Photo: Manorama

Alappuzha/Kottayam/Idukki/Malappuram: The heavy rain that continuing to batter most parts of the state since Sunday raised the specter of yet another flood situation in the low-lying regions in Central Kerala, especially the Alappuzha district.

Several places in Upper Kuttanad have been flooded after major rivers in the region, including the Pampa, Manimala, and Achencoil, swell past their banks. A total of 117 houses were damaged in Alappuzha in the rain fury so far.

Floodwaters entered houses at Thalavady, Muttar, Edathua, Thakazhi, and Veeyapuram as a number of flood-affected families have moved to safer places. As many as 22 families from wards 4,5,6,7 and 8 in Muttar grama panchayat were shifted to St. George Higher Secondary School, Muttar. 

The rise in water level resulted in a breach in the outer bund of at least one paddy polder in Kuttanad. Alappuzha District Collector Haritha V Kumar visited the region, where the situation is expected to turn grimmer on Thursday. Floodwaters also inundated a stretch of the Ambalappuzha- Thiruvalla State highway at Nedumbram and several rural roads in the region.

The revenue department opened seven relief camps across the Alappuzha district- four in Chengannur, two in Cherthala and one in Mavelikara taluk- and shifted 150 people belonging to 43 families there.

The Irrigation Department, meanwhile, has cut open the Thottappally river mouth to ensure the smooth flow of floodwaters from Kuttanad and Upper Kuttanad into the sea. 

The body of a migrant worker identified as Raj Kumar (23), who went missing after a country boat capsized on Monday noon in heavy rains and strong winds was recovered early Wednesday. Numerous tree-falling incidents were reported across the district. A huge tree near the Aroor-Arukutty bridge fell on the road, hindering traffic movement for hours.

Rivers in Kottayam swell

In Kottayam, the swollen Meenachil river threatened to inundate Pala town on Wednesday. While the flood water has started to recede from the eastern side of the region, the low-lying areas in the western end of the district, where the various rivers meet the Vembanad lake, have experienced a surge in water levels.

Water levels in the Meenachil and Manimala rivers crossed the danger level at several locations.

Local residents reported a minor landslip inside the forests near Koruthodu on Tuesday evening, triggering a sudden surge in the water level of the Manimala river. The event caused several of the causeways connecting the villages on the high ranges to remain under the water for hours. Authorities have opened 22 relief camps in Kottayam district, which accommodate 284 people from 83 families. As many as 31 houses have reported damages in Kottayam since the onset of monsoon this year. 

Water level in reservoirs rise in Pathanamthitta

All major reservoirs in Pathanamthitta reported a heavy inflow of water, while the run-off water from rivers flooded the residential areas in the low-lying parts of Upper Kuttanad. A total of 19 houses sustained partial damages, while the rain also brought down a 135-year-old CSI Church at Niranom.

The villages in the high-ranges of the district received intense overnight rains with the catchment areas of the Pamba dam reporting rains as high as 198 mm. 

Relief and rescue operations in the low-lying parts of Pathanamthitta are being led by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Fire and Rescue Services personnel. Authorities have opened 27 relief camps in Pathanamthitta district, which accommodated 581 people from 164 families.

Further, preparations are on to evacuate more families to relief camps once the floodwaters enter the lower reaches in the Upper Kuttanad region.

Health Minister Veena George, who assessed the flood situation in Pathanamthitta during the day, said steps would be taken to ensure the safety of people in the affected areas. Taking note of the flood situation, the District Collector Divya S Iyer has declared a holiday for the educational institutions in Mallappally and Thiruvalla Taluks on Thursday. 

The Central Water Commission, meanwhile, has issued orange and yellow alerts for the Pamba and Manimala rivers in view of the surging water levels in downstream of these water bodies. 

The unusually heavy rain also heaped misery on farmers who are certain to lose a substantial portion of their Onam crop. The farmers in Kottayam alone reported losses worth Rs 68.64 lakh.
Heavy showers lash Idukki

With Idukki experiencing heavy rain since Tuesday, several incidents of monsoon-related calamities were from across the district in the past 24 hours.

A family of four at Aanaviratti near Adimaly had a lucky escape after a huge boulder fell from a height onto their house in the wee hours on Tuesday.

Maliyekkal Josekutty said a wall of his newly built house caved in soon after the bolder hit the house. “The bolder was hidden inside a mount of earth on a high area behind the house and a portion of the collapsed wall fell near the bed where we were sleeping,” he said. 

Almost all the major high-range centers in the district received intermittant heavy showers on Wednesday. 

According to official data, Peermade taluk received 192 mm of rainfall, the highest in the district as of Wednesday noon.

Heavy damage in Malappauram

Twenty houses were damaged in a flash cyclone at Omanoor in the Cheekkode panchayat near Kondotty.

Incessant rain caused heavy damage in Malappuram for the second consecutive day. Four houses were destroyed completely and 41 were damaged across the district. Kondotty and Ponnani Taluks were the worst-hit areas. 

“As per the data available with us till Wednesday noon, four houses have been destroyed completely in the sea attack. We opened a camp on Tuesday for the families facing the sea fury and authorities are on a high alert”, said an official from Ponnani tahsildar's office.

The district collector has declared a holiday for all the educational institutions including the professional colleges in the Ponnani taluk on Thursday. Collector said PSC and university examinations would be conducted as per schedule. 

Twenty houses were damaged in a flash cyclone at Omanoor in the Cheekkode panchayat near Kondotty. Hundreds of trees were uprooted in the wind in the area. Kondotty tahsildar said no one was injured in the incident. He added that the power supply has been affected badly in the area. 

Meanwhile, rescue teams have stopped the search for the day for the two missing persons in the Kuthippuzha at Amarambalam near Nilambur. Suseela (60) and her granddaughter Anusree (12) went missing in the river on Wednesday morning. The rescue operation will resume on Thursday morning, sources said.

The rivers in the Nilambur taluk are running spate following the heavy rain. Nilambur tehsildar search for a person who went missing in the river would commence on Thursday morning. 

A tree fell on a running jeep at Karakkunnu near Manjeri. The travellers escaped with minor injuries.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.