THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A major ecological disaster would be spawned if the coastline changes triggered by Cyclone Ockhi are ignored, Friends of Marine Life (FML), a Thiruvananthapuram-based marine research organisation, warned.
The cyclone and the four days of rough seas that followed it have transformed the structure of the coastline, said FML, one of two Indian organisations invited to the UN Oceans Conference. ‘’Every year, normally, the waves from a northern direction drag the soil from the coast during June to August (Southwest monsoon season). During September to November, waves in the opposite direction return this soil. After this, the sediment transportation decreases and sea becomes calm,’’ FML convener Robert Panipilla said.
The unexpected cyclone and the rough seas it triggered eroded the coast although the sedimentation cycle was completed. ‘’Thirty to 50 metres of the coast was cleaved off. It remains to be seen how much of it will be regenerated in the coming months,’’ he said. The dredging for the Vizhinjam port project would hamper this regeneration process, FML alleged. The dredging would prevent sediment transportation to places south of Vizhinjam. The authorities should urgently look into this aspect, FML said.