THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With monsoon around the corner, the authorities have decided to map the vulnerable areas in the district, especially in the hilly areas as part of disaster preparedness. The District Disaster Management Authority has directed the district geology department and the local bodies to submit a report on the vulnerable areas in the district that are prone to landslides and landslips.
“We have asked the district geology department and the local bodies to carry out visits of vulnerable areas and submit a report for June 10. We have asked them to collect the details of the families and the population density in such areas. Excess rainfall during the summer has made us more vulnerable,” said an official of DDMA.
High risk ahead
According to the landslide zonation map of Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), Thiruvananthapuram has around 45.6 square kilometres of high hazard landslide-prone area and approximately 114.9 sq kilometres of low hazard landslide-prone areas. Peringamala, Amboori and Vellarada areas are some of the landslide-prone areas in the district.
“There was no lean period this year and heavy rainfall continues to lash the district. Also, the monsoon is almost here. There are standing orders for the local authorities and the police to initiate immediate action. We have already instructed the local authorities to move the families residing in vulnerable areas if required,” the official added.
The Orange Book
Meanwhile, the KSDMA is gearing up to update and publish the Orange Book - comprehensive guidelines to step up disaster preparedness. “As per the data collected, over 7,000 families live in landslide-prone areas in the state. Of them, 3,000 have accepted `10 lakh compensation from the government and moved to other locations. There are still many who are yet to move from these locations,” said an official of KSDMA.
The official said the state is prepared to face monsoon. “We will be publishing the Orange book soon. We have finalised and submitted the report to the state government for final clearance. The orange book will guide various departments on the steps to be taken during monsoon related disasters,” said the official.
The official said the local bodies are more prepared now. “There are war rooms and central control rooms in every district. The local bodies would be able to use these during monsoon-related crises,” the official added.
District panchayat president D Suresh Kumar said the district is prepared to face the monsoon. “We have directed ward-level committees to undertake all emergency work, especially clearing waste dumps etc ahead of the monsoon. We will move people living in vulnerable areas to relief camps,” he added.