THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the monsoon has intensified across the state, the lives of people living in the coastal areas have become miserable with the sea turning rough and the threat of erosion looming large. Irrigation Minister K Krishnankutty bore the brunt of people’s anger on Thursday when he visited Valiyathura here, where the rough sea has wreaked havoc.
The people blocked the minister when he reached the spot to assess the damage caused by the rough sea, leading to a minor scuffle between the police and the local people.
The people have, for long, been demanding a permanent solution to the sea erosion in the region.
Though the minister promised that the state government would find a solution to the issue through discussion, the residents demanded a solution on Thursday itself, following which a scuffle broke out.
The police, however, managed to take back the minister from the spot.
As many as 15 houses were completely damaged and 100 houses partially damaged in the rough sea at Valiyathura. The affected people have been shifted to three rehabilitation centres in the region.
The department also said that nine districts are facing acute sea erosion. The Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday had sanctioned around Rs 22.5 crore to take coastal protection measures in vulnerable areas.
In many areas, portions of the seawall and groynes erected along the coast have caved in, apart from the shores being gnawed away.
Wind, high waves likely
The Indian Metrological Department has warned of strong winds from the westerly direction with speed reaching 35-45 kmph, gusting to 50 kmph along and off the Kerala coast on Friday. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea.
Strong wind with speed reaching 40-50 kmph is also likely to prevail over southeast and east central Bay of Bengal and over the Andaman Sea.
High waves in the range of 2.5 to 3.3 m have been forecast till Friday night along the coast of Kerala from Pozhiyoor to Kasaragod. There is a possibility of low-lying areas experiencing surges intermittently, especially at high tide times (between 07-10 hours and 19-20 hours), the weathermen said.
Meanwhile, cyclonic storm ‘Vayu’ over northeast and adjoining east central Arabian Sea has moved northwestwards with a speed of about 7 kmph and lay centred over northeast and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea on Thursday. It is very likely to move north-northwestwards for some time and then northwestwards, skirting the Saurashtra coast, affecting Gir Somnath, Diu, Junagarh, Porbandar and Devbhoomi Dwarka with a wind speed of 90-100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph during the next 12 hours, the IMD said.