[dropcap]R[/dropcap]esidents of Kuttanad slowly started coming home, almost two weeks after they were moved to relief camps as floods and landslides wreaked havoc in Kerala.
Kuttanad, with the lowest altitude in India, has seen floods before, but the deluge this time was unlike anything the residents had ever seen before. Moreover, the floodwater has not receded yet, delaying rehabilitation work in the area.
Nearly 2.7 lakh people were evacuated from Kuttanad on a war footing, and several people had to move from relief camp to relief camp as even they started getting flooded. People were housed in relief camps as far away as Cherthala and Kollam, says a report in TNM.
For the people of Kuttanad, the Alappuzha-Changanassery Road is of prime importance as it connects the region with the rest of Alappuzha and neighbouring Kottayam. This is the second time in two months that Kuttanad was flooded – the first time it was inundated was in July, sending scores of families to relief camps, which were functioning inside big boats and ferries.
In August, all of Kuttanad was inundated, forcing authorities to conduct mass evacuation.
“The AC Road was blocked in July, and vehicular traffic was restored after 25 days. It was flooded again in August. At present, services to Mankombu has been restored, but bus services are yet to resume. So we’re isolated right now,” a resident named Joseph told TNM.
Authorities are now looking for ways to artificially pump out the water from the paddy fields the region is known for, to reduce the water levels. “We have to resort to pumping out the water. Otherwise service on AC Road cannot resume,” Alappuzha District Collector S Suhas told the digital news platform.
Water transport too had been affected since the floods. While boat services have resumed now, they are still limited. A lot of boats and jetties were damaged in the floods.
Kainakiri Panchayat, still flooded
Kainakiri, the lowest lying region, has been worst affected. People of the panchayat, have been living in relief camps for the past two weeks. The houses are still flooded, and electricity and water to the houses are yet to be restored. Mobile towers too were damaged in the crisis.