THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Living along the banks of the dirt-filled Parvathi Puthanar for decades, flash floods have become very much a part of the lives of over a hundred families of Puthanpalam colony, near Kannammoola.
Not more than a year ago, they were hit by a similar flood, during the north-east monsoon. For them, the cramped makeshift dormitories in rehabilitation centres are like a second home, having to visit there more often.
Even though they are accustomed to frequent floods, the residents say that the flood on Saturday was nothing short of a nightmare, given the sheer intensity of the disaster. It was the biggest flood that they had seen in the last ten years.
K Ambi, a mother of two teenage daughters, still shivers while recalling the moments. Had it not been for her 15-year-old daughter, Anju, who alerted the family promptly, the three women would have been buried under the debris of their bedroom.
‘’It was 7 am and I was still on my bed. My younger daughter Anjali was also lying beside me. It was Anju, who was getting ready for tuitions, who raised the alarm when water gushed in with horrendous force. We all ran out immediately, when a portion of the bedroom collapsed behind us,’’ said Ambi, pointing to the furniture and almirah that were buried under the debris. The books and other study materials of her daughters were also lost.
For Sreedevi Amma, a Kudumbashree worker, the flood was a third back-to-back blow in her life. Four months ago, she had lost her husband. One month ago, she lost her job after the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant ceased to function.
Now, the flood has also contributed to her list of losses, her only relief being the fact that her only daughter was married off a few years ago and she has no other dependents.
The Puthanpalam residents said that they were dismayed by the attitude of the authorities. The victims of the previous flood are still to receive the compensation announced by the state government.