Central team comes face to face with Ockhi horror at Ground Zero
Rejina Prabha’s voice choked with emotion and eyes welled up with tears as she recalled her ordeal on the fateful day when the giant waves set off by Cyclone Ockhi battered the Chellanam coast. Her husband Joseph Rexson, 40, Kattipparambil, Che
KOCHI: Rejina Prabha’s voice choked with emotion and eyes welled up with tears as she recalled her ordeal on the fateful day when the giant waves set off by Cyclone Ockhi battered the Chellanam coast. Her husband Joseph Rexson, 40, Kattipparambil, Chellanam was the sole bread winner of the six-member family.
Rexson had gone to his house to take stock of the situation - never to return. His body was later found near the house. With Rexson’s death, the entire responsibility of the six-member family has fallen upon Rejina’s shoulders.
“He used to take care of his ailing parents and bring groceries from the shop. I never had to bother about the family as he was caring. His death has been a major blow to the family and we are yet to come to terms with the loss. I have three children aged three, five and eight, and I have no idea how to bring them up,” Regina told Central team members R Thankamani and Sumit Priyadarshi who are here to assess the havoc wrought by the super storm. The team witnessed several such heart-wrenching tales of lives lost and a lifetime’s earnings getting washed away within the space of a few seconds.
Rejina pleaded with the team members to provide her with a job which will enable her to take care of the family. R Thankamani, who received the petition, assured Regina of all help. “You are well qualified and we will extend all possible help,” said the team members.
“All the houses in the area were inundated. They lost their belongings, certificates and fishing gear, including nets,” Fr John Kandathilparambu, of Velankanni Church told the officers. He took the team to the beach where the sea wall was destroyed by the tidal waves. “Chellanam bore the brunt of the tidal waves.
The sea wall has been destroyed at Velankanni Church and Companypady and seawater enters the villages during high tide. The area is no longer safe. During monsoon season the situation will be worse. We have submitted a memorandum to the Central team demanding construction of the sea wall to protect the families from the waves,” said Fr John.
The families at Velankanni Church, Companypady and Bazaar area in Chellanam had been shifted to a relief camp as the enormous waves pounded the coastal area damaging their houses and snatching away all their belongings.