Flooding, choked traffic throw life out of gear in Kochi

Over 300 houses inundated in Kalamassery municipality; residents blame corp’s failure to carry out timely canal and drain cleaning work for current situation.
A two-wheeler slips out of hands into the waterlogged Unnichira-Pookattupadi road on Tuesday | Nandan R Nair
A two-wheeler slips out of hands into the waterlogged Unnichira-Pookattupadi road on Tuesday | Nandan R Nair

KOCHI : Several places in Ernakulam district, especially Kochi city, were left inundated on Tuesday following a cloudburst in the morning. Flooding and subsequent traffic congestion disrupted normal life in most parts of the city.

Vehicles were caught in traffic for hours on the 14-km stretch between Aluva and Edappally. With several houses inundated in the heavy rain, the district administration has opened two relief camps.

Waterlogging and traffic snarl-ups were reported at multiple locations including Edappally, Kakkanad, Infopark, Sahodaran Ayyappan Road, Ernakulam south railway station, KSRTC bus station, Palarivattom, Kaloor, Aluva, Thrikkakara, Kalamassery, Tripunithura, Fort Kochi, Thoppumpady, Mattancherry, Mundamveli, and other West Kochi areas.

While a house collapsed partially in Mundemveli, Fort Kochi, a KSRTC bus was damaged when a tree fell following heavy winds.

Camps were opened in Kakkanad, Kanayannur taluk, and Kalamassery regions. As of Tuesday evening, nine families (a total of 20 people) were shifted to a camp opened at the M A Aboobaker School in Kakkanad while 27 people were shifted to the VHSS in Kalamassery. By evening, only these two camps remained open in the district. Three houses were also damaged.

Water gushed into houses at Moolepadam, Hidayat Nagar, and Puthuvayil in Kalamassery municipality. “The worst affected was the Moolepadam area, where around 200 houses were inundated. The entire area was flooded, including houses and commercial establishments,” said Kalamassery municipality chairperson Seema Kannan.

A KSRTC bus lying abandoned at Fort Kochi after a tree fell on it following strong wind | Express
A KSRTC bus lying abandoned at Fort Kochi after a tree fell on it following strong wind | Express

She also said that water entered over 300 houses in the municipality.

“A relief camp was opened at VHSS School in Kalamassery. Seventeen people from the Hill Valley division were shifted to the camp,” she said, adding that the bursting of a water pipe on Pipeline Road worsened the situation.

Around 50 houses in the University Colony division of Kalamassery also witnessed flooding.

“Machanikal Thazham, Thambikkudi, and the areas adjacent to the Seaport-Airport Road, Cusat, were also flooded. Rainwater receded in the afternoon as the rain subsided,” a local resident said.

In West Kochi, the areas of Mundemveli, Fort Kochi, and Thoppumpady experienced waterlogging for hours. Local residents alleged that the Kochi corporation failed to carry out timely canal and drain cleaning work, leading to massive flooding in the area, especially in Mundemveli, this year.

“The corporation failed to carry out pre-monsoon cleaning work. Silt and waste from the major canals, including the Pandarachira Canal, Calvathy Canal and the Rameshwaram Canal, have resulted in unusually severe waterlogging this year,” said Alex, a Mundemveli resident and a social activist.

Relief camps opened

M A Aboobaker LPS, Kakkanad

  • Male 7

  • Female 13

  • Children 5

  • Total 25

  • Senior citizens 4

  • Families 10

VHSS, Kalamassery

  • Male 15

  • Female 14

  • Children 4

  • Total 33

  • Senior citizens Nil

  • Families 10

M Leelavathy’s assistant Bindu stacking up the writer’s books after the former’s residence in the city was inundated, ruining several of her 
books | A Sanesh
M Leelavathy’s assistant Bindu stacking up the writer’s books after the former’s residence in the city was inundated, ruining several of her books | A Sanesh

Felicitation postponed, students wait for hours in rain

Several students who recently passed SSLC and Plus-II examinations had a harrowing time on Tuesday as they waited before the Ernakulam Town Hall for hours in heavy rain to attend a felicitation function. However, they were shocked to learn that the same had already been postponed to May 31. An NGO, ‘First Aid Charitable Trust’, planned to organise the function to honour the students who had scored over 80% marks. They had decided to hold the event on Tuesday and rolled out posters on social media and WhatsApp groups.Though the event was postponed to May 31, the same couldn’t be propagated through social media effectively. “We went there after learning about the felicitation function through a WhatsApp group. However, the Town Hall was closed and we waited there for over an hour in heavy rain. Later, our teacher enquired and learned that it was postpon-ed,” said a student. A representative of the NGO said they were forced to postpone the event after the Town Hall was fully booked for the day.

Teen drowns in canal

A teenager drowned in a canal near his house at Aikarakudy in Angamaly on Monday night. The deceased is Eldhose, 15, son of Shaibu. Eldhose entered the canal to bathe and was swept away by strong undercurre-nts. After an hour-long search, he was found in the canal’s downstream.

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