CHENNAI: The Kanniyakumari district administration and the disaster management wing were caught unawares when Suchindram, a town of religious importance, experienced flash floods from a surging Pazhayar as Cyclone Ockhi brought torrential rain. Even before they could come out with a contingency plan, gushing waters submerged habitations, marooning the residents.
It is strange that the temple town does not even figure on the list of vulnerable points prone to flooding, sources said and added that rescue and relief personnel had to cut open the National Highway road connecting Nagercoil with Kanniyakumari to make way for water to flow down, bringing respite to the stranded people.
While the natural calamity spelled trouble for the local residents, it also taught a few important lessons to the administration.
They now intend to construct more culverts and smaller bridges under highways to pave the way for flood waters to run off without hindrance. A strategy has been evolved as part of risk reduction measures.
“The first thing is to convert pipe culverts, existing and under construction, into box-type culverts and then identify locations to raise more culverts and bridges so that water course will not be obstructed,” Commissioner for Revenue Administration and Relief Commissioner K Satyagopal told Express.