KOCHI: Weeks after Cyclone Tauktae swept in and left a trail of destruction across the coastal belt of Kerala, the huge amount of debris it left behind continues to remind the residents of their precarious existence. As coastal residents, simultaneously hit hard by the cyclone and a raging pandemic, try to slowly pick up the pieces and move on, groups of volunteers are coming together to lend a helping hand.
On Monday, volunteers from the Maruvakkad Velankanni Matha Kolping social service group gathered to clear out the sand that had accumulated on the premises of the Velankanni Church. “The team was led by rector Fr John Kandathiparambil, who is also the patron of the group,” said Jinson Veluthamannukal, secretary, Kolping. According to him, some areas and byroads in the panchayat are currently filled with the sand that the sea brought in during the cyclone.
“The sand and mud came in from the land that got eroded by the waves. Just a few metres away from the church, the coastline has gone back by 35 metres. This phenomenon began happening after groynes were installed at the harbour,” he said.
The volunteer group plans to use the sand collected for emergency cases like filling up bags to stop stormwater or seawater, he added. The group had also distributed food kits to around 586 families in the panchayat.