Life thrown out of gear due to heavy rains; Navy saves stranded islanders

kerala monsoon_2.JPG

Kochi: Incessant and heavy rains since Sunday afternoon threw normal life out of gear in the city and its outskirts. All low lying areas along the banks of the Periyar near Aluva, Perumbavoor and Nedumbassery, were inundated after the shutters of Idamalayar dam were opened.
The heavy downpour caused massive traffic snarls, especially in major junctions and rundown bridges. Vehicles had to negotiate flooded streets which exposed the civic body’s lack of preparedness.
Daily commuters had a tough time reaching office and most of them were not able to reach their work place on time. The stretch between Vyttila to Tripunithura faced the worst chaos as vehicles moved at a snail's pace.
However, according to Assistant Commissioner (Traffic- East) Suneesh Babu, city traffic was not badly hit by the heavy downpour. “Traffic blocks were reported mainly from Edappally, north railway overbridge and the national highway bypass. Vehicle movement was normal in other parts of the city. No additional traffic wardens were deputed. Only 20 wardens were on duty, 10 along the highway and 10 at Banerjee Road”, he said.
The bad condition of the roads worsened the situation with most of the private buses cancelling trips.
“We had to cancel trips as we were not able to keep the timeline. It took nearly an hour to cross Vyttila junction”, said Abdul Rahman, a private bus driver.
The rain which came down in sheets, started in the afternoon on Sunday and lasted till early morning on Monday. The heavy downpour abated for a few hours and started pouring again, thereby submerging roads in almost all the low-lying areas. In Aluva, even some of the big apartment complexes were flooded with the parking area and ground floor going under water.  
Power supply was also affected in some areas, especially the suburbs of the city including Kakkanad and Tripunithura.
Navy saves stranded islanders
Kochi: The non-stop rains over the last two days inundated low-lying areas along the coast of the Periyar and the Muvattupuzha rivers and several islands like Aluva Turuthu were cut off from the mainland. The district administration sought the Navy’s help to rescue the villagers. It also sought Rs 1 cr in aid from the state government for immediate rescue operations.
The water level continued to rise as the shutters of Edamalayar dam were opened on Sunday night. Areas like Eloor, Pathalam, Edamula, Puthanvelikkara,Turavukara and GCDA colony in Muvattupuzha, were all water-logged.
A total of 76 relief camps were opened across the district as the loss was estimated at Rs 15 cr. At least 541 houses were damaged in the floods which also affected agricultural crop across 367.7 hectares. The Navy sent a 16-member diving team to rescue marooned villagers from the turuthu.
“There are over 750 families on the island and the water level has been steadily rising. We’ve so far evacuated over a 1,000 people mostly women and children.
Four boats have been ferrying people since morning and items like emergency lamps have been readied to continue rescue operations late into the night”, said S.Sudharshan, a local resident who helped the Navy personnel.
Flood hits Vavu Bali preparations
Kochi: The traditional ‘Karkidaka Vavu bali’ may be washed away at places like the Aluva Manapuram and Chelamattom near Perumbavur with the Periyar and the Muvattupuzha rivers in spate.
The temporary sheds erected at the Aluva Manapuram on Sunday to help people pay “bali tarpanam’ (paying homage to ancestors) were washed way in the flood waters on Monday even as the temple premises got completely inundated.
The authorities said alternative arrangements were set up at Alinchuvadu, GCDA Road and Kadatukadavu roadsto aid devotes perform the traditional Vavu bali.
“No vehicles will be allowed towards the Shiva Temple side from Thottakattukara and Paravur Kavala. Even the road side vendors will be restricted,” an official of the Aluva Municipality said.
Meanwhile, water level continues to rise threatening to derail the ‘bali tapanam’ of thousands. “If the level rises by one-and-a-half foot more, areas like Alinchuvadu will be inundated, washing away the traditional event.

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