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Mass exodus starts as Kuttanad stares at flooding

Outer bunds of five paddy polders breached | 350 houses submerged at Kainakari, 150 at Valiyathuruth and 200 at Vavakkad | 3,205 people in 69 camps in dist

Published: 10th August 2020 03:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2020 03:02 AM   |  A+A-

People of Thalavadi near Tiruvalla being shifted to a camp on Sunday (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

ALAPPUZHA: Just like 2018 and 2019, mass exodus of people began from Kuttanad again after the monsoon rain inundated the entire region, breaching outer bunds of five paddy polders and submerging several houses partially or fully. Most residents have shifted either to relief camps or to their relatives’ homes.

As many as 350 houses have been submerged in Kainakari panchayat, while 150 and 200 houses have been partially flooded on the Valiyathuruth and Vavakkad paddy polders, respectively. Water level in the Upper Kuttanad area rose by over four feet on Sunday, said Thalavadi panchayat member Ajithkumar Pisharath.

“Around 200 people have been shifted to relief camps. At least 30 houses have been partially submerged. People are being shifted on tractors and in other heavy vehicles,” he said.Revenue officials said Mavelikkara, Vittiyar, Thripperumthura, Mannar, Pandanad and other areas are facing the threat of flooding.

As many as 3,205 people from 935 families have been shifted to 69 camps opened in six taluks of Alappuzha, said officials. District Collector A Alexander said Pampa dam shutters were raised and people living on the banks of the river in Chengannur, Mavelikkara, Kuttanad and Karthikapally taluks should stay vigilant.

“The Ports department has been directed to arrange boats and houseboats to shift people to relief camps. The regional transport officer has been directed to arrange heavy vehicles to shift people if there is an emergency,” he said.

The district administration has said water supply to Alappuzha municipality and nearby panchayats may be affected as the rising water level in the Pampa may disrupt functioning of the pump house of the Alappuzha drinking water project at Kadapara near Tiruvalla. Meanwhile, Irrigation department officials expressed confidence that the widening of Thottapally estuary to 300m as well as the leading channel will help in speedy evacuation of floodwater.

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