Kochi faces heavy rainfall and flooding, fishermen escape capsized boat

The downpour flooded around 400 houses in Thrikkakara and Kalamassery.
 A man carries a boy while navigating a flooded street at Edappally in Kochi, as heavy rain lashed the area on Tuesday morning.
A man carries a boy while navigating a flooded street at Edappally in Kochi, as heavy rain lashed the area on Tuesday morning. (Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)

KOCHI : Heavy rain following a cloudburst inundated several parts of Kochi city and threw traffic out of gear on Tuesday, barely days before the onset of the southwest monsoon in Kerala. The observatory at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) in Kalamassery recorded 103mm rainfall between 9.05am and 10.05 am. As per the IMD classification, if any station records over 100mm rainfall in an hour, it can be considered a cloudburst.

The downpour flooded the Edappally-Aluva stretch of the NH, leading to bumper-to-bumper traffic on the road, as well as on the flyover. Infopark, Thrikkakara, Kalamassery and several other parts of Kochi city were flooded too. Water also entered around 400 houses in Thrikkakara and Kalamassery.

“Today (Tuesday), we witnessed real cloudburst in Kalamassery. The rain gauge at Cusat recorded 103mm rainfall between 9.05am and 10.05am,” said Cusat Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research director S Abhilash. He said the impact of Cyclone Remal in the Bay of Bengal and the strengthening of westerly winds have made conditions favourable for the onset of monsoon. “The characteristics of Tuesday’s rain were a mix of pre-monsoon and southwest monsoon rainfall. On May 22, our gauge at Maliankara near Paravur recorded 96mm rainfall,” Abhilash said.

The house of writer M Leelavathy was among the houses flooded in Thrikkakara in the morning. The water entered her house and reached to a height of upto 2ft, damaging several books. At Fort Kochi, an uprooted tree fell on a KSRTC bus, leading to traffic snarls. Police and Fire and Rescue Services personnel removed the tree and restored the traffic.

Residents unite to push a cycle cart through the flooded road at Edappally.
Residents unite to push a cycle cart through the flooded road at Edappally. (Photo| A Sanesh)

Five fishermen who had ventured into the sea from the Vypeen harbour had a miraculous escape after their boat capsized due to rough weather. “Around 8.30am, an inboard engine country craft that ventured into the sea was caught in high waves and capsized near Saude church between Fort Kochi and Kannamali. The fishermen who were initially caught in the waves managed to swim to safety. Life jackets proved helpful in their escape,” said Wilfred Manuel, a diver in Fort Kochi.

“Strong westerly winds have brought heavy rain in Ernakulam, Kottayam, Idukki and Thiruvananthapuram districts. Changes in atmospheric conditions are indications of the arrival of monsoon. We expect the monsoon to touch Kerala coast within three to four days. The IMD will make an official announcement when the parameters are met,” said India Meteorological Department director K Santhosh.

Cloudburst

A cloudburst is a weather phenomenon caused by a vertical column of cumulonimbus clouds that bring aggressive rainstorm in a small geographical area over a brief duration of time

Rainfall recorded in Ernakulam between 8.30am and 2.30pm on Tuesday

  • Kalamassery: 157 mm

  • Palluruthy: 100 mm

  • Choondi: 58 mm

  • Mattancherry: 54 mm

  • Keerampara: 51 mm

  • Neriamangalam: 38 mm

  • Edamalayar: 36 mm

  • Aluva: 22 mm

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