Kerala: Five days after cloudburst, no end to woes of Moolepadam residents

Call for appropriate, scientific measures at the earliest to overcome the flood situation.
D Premkumar with the materials that were damaged in the heavy rain, at his rented house in Moolepadam near Kalamassery
D Premkumar with the materials that were damaged in the heavy rain, at his rented house in Moolepadam near Kalamassery Photo | A Sanesh

KOCHI: “I’ll have to restart my life from zero,” laments D Premkumar, standing amidst soaked clothes, sleeping mat, and damaged equipment at his rented house in Moolepadam near Kalamassery, which was flooded during last Tuesday’s cloudburst.

“There is no mat to sleep on, and all my clothes were ruined in the flooding,” says the 64-year-old pastor who lives with his bedridden mother, wife and son.

Five days after heavy rain inundated Moolepadam, the cleaning of houses in the area continued even on Sunday. When TNIE visited the houses of local residents, dark clouds were gathering, threatening another heavy spell.

“I have suffered a loss of Rs 5 lakh. When the water level rose quickly, my wife managed to save the life of my mother with the assistance of the fire and rescue team,” says Premkumar who was in Salem at the time.

T Lorentina, who retired as the principal of the Government Polytechnic College in Kalamassery, says: “The last three letters of the word Moolepadam itself resembles the actual condition of the residents. We are living in a ‘dam’, where water may enter our low-lying area from anywhere.”

One of the earliest residents of Moolepadam, she had renovated her house and increased its height.

A dog sniffing garbage expelled from the inundated houses 
A dog sniffing garbage expelled from the inundated houses Photo | A Sanesh

“But whenever it rains heavily, water gushes into the house,” says Lorentina, who lives with her son and family on the ground floor while his daughter and family live on the first floor. She blames the negligence of the government authorities for the flooding. “We are now in a dilemma, whether to live here or leave the place,” Lorentina adds.

Reni Mathew, whose house too was inundated, says her family shifted upstairs after the first spell of heavy rain. “On the following day, we moved to a hotel as the situation remained unchanged. Considering the school reopening, we started the cleaning process when the rain subsided,” she says. They used silicone sealants on windows and doors to block off water but that too proved no match for gushing rainwater, Reni points out.

“We are living in an area which gets inundated easily. The authorities should take appropriate, scientific measures at the earliest to overcome the situation, or else it may lead to a huge disaster,” she adds.

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