KOCHI: On Sunday, the fifth day of the deluge, as water recedes, the flood-hit areas scream of destruction and suffering. Houses collapsed, churches, mosques, auditoriums and temples, where people ran for safety when the flood water gushed in, have all been damaged. There are people who waited with dead bodies trapped in the buildings for days, without food or water.
On Sunday, most of the rescue efforts were focussed on Paravur with 16 units of Navy in action in the surrounding areas. In total, 47 units of the Navy are working in the district. The Paravur Taluk Hospital has resumed functioning with more admissions into the IP Department. So far, only OP Department was functioning. Paravur had been unreachable for the rescue workers in the first day.
The place has Periyar and Chalakudy river flowing on both sides which brought in more water. Only when some civilians managed to get in did the tragedy that occurred here came to light. Seven bodies were recovered the other day from St Xavier’s Church Parish House where a part of the building collapsed on Thursday night. Thousands are still stuck in their houses early on Sunday.
V D Satheeshan, MLA of Paravur, had publicly come out against the Health Department and government saying that they have failed to send relief items including medicines. “We have got no government stock. We sourced it from private sources,” he said. On Sunday 82,000 food packets were distributed in Paravur among a total of 1,36,000.
From Aluva, the water level has receded to an extent. This has enabled smoother relief works. In Aluva UC College, over 10,000 people are camping with meagre means. They have been rescued from various parts of Aluva and Paravur. Sadly, some of them had to be rescued from the relief camps itself. The heavy rain and the incoming water from the dams had brought water levels up in Aluva quite quickly late in the night of August 15 and early hours of August 16.
The high flow of the water stopped even rescuers, leaving thousands stranded in various parts of the town. As the water receded on Saturday, rescue operations gained momentum. Various parts of Muttom were submerged while water entered even the Metro Station at Companypady. Kalamassery saw massive destruction in some parts. It was a location for over five camps with more than 3,000 people.
This industrial area saw a lot of loss as the factories were flooded and the residential areas and colonies nearby had been submerged. People here are mostly living in relief camps in Kalamassery. Water had flooded their first relief camps and the roads outside, fully blocking the transportation in the area too. Now, with water receding, people are recovering in camps.
When the level of water rose and the Muvattupuzha river started overflowing, the Muvattupuzha town was inundated. Kolencherry area also saw a lot of people being moved into the camps as water levels rose. In Kothamangalam, Periyar overflowed and with the increased rain, the whole place was inundated. As the rain stopped and the water discharge from the dams was brought down, the water levels have receded. “We are now going back to the houses to clean them. Only 10% of the water remains and it is along the river banks. We were in camps till now. People are slowly going back here,” said Nazal, a Muvattupuzha resident, and volunteer.