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Kochi residents face misery for second day in a row

Ernakulam Market Road was flooded by heavy rains on Wednesday.

Ernakulam Market Road was flooded by heavy rains on Wednesday. | Image source: Special arrangement

Heavy rains hit the city for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, flooding houses and roads in low-lying areas, disrupting traffic and completely paralyzing life.

A similar-looking wave of heavy rainfall hit the city around 3.30pm on Wednesday, even as residents painstakingly cleared their homes that had been flooded by heavy rains caused by torrential rain the day before. For those hit by Tuesday’s rains, things are back to square one as water begins to flood cleared homes.

More than 100 families in Moolepadam, Sector 6 of Kalamassery Municipality suffered misery for the second consecutive day as the water level started rising alarmingly. “The situation has become just as bad as the day before, with houses flooded. We are about to deploy rubber boats from the fire and rescue services to evacuate those most affected,” said ward councilor Nasheeda Salam.

Soon after the rain started, the Information Park campus and the roads leading to the park were flooded. “If this is indeed the case, what are the plans of the District Disaster Management Authority and Infopark authorities for the strong monsoon in the coming days,” asked Hariram MV, founder of Kochi Can’t Breathe, an IT employee at Infopark. Formed during the Tom Fire.

Shanthipuram Colony in Karanakodam district is another frequently inundated area, with water levels rising to knee-high in more than three dozen houses in the area. By then, though, residents had moved their valuables to higher ground where they had suffered severe damage years earlier. “Arrangements were made to open a camp at short notice at Santa Rita High School in Punnulenni. However, they chose to stay, believing that the water would drain out once the rain stopped,” said district councilor George Nanat.

Eapali experienced severe flooding, which has become a regular feature this season, bringing traffic to a standstill on the stretch of the national highway between Vittila and Eapali. Motorists were stranded on the stretch of road for several hours.

Unlike Tuesday, Palarivattom Junction was also inundated, creating a traffic nightmare. “I lost the keys of my motorcycle parked here in the morning and I have been trying to rent a taxi or an autorickshaw for the past two hours. But everyone refused to take one citing flooded roads. Stuck in Palarivattom IT employee Sriram JK wondered what would be the fate of those who do not have vehicles and face emergencies.

Ernakulam South MP Padmaja S. Menon lamented that the “petti” and “para” near the KSRTC shipyard used to pump water into the Mullassery canal are not operational. She accused the Kochi Corporation of not replacing the belts despite asking for it for a long time.

Due to soil erosion, the compound wall, the tiled walkway and a car parked on the porch collapsed into a ditch near Padamughar, leaving the house in quite a precarious position. The soil continues to erode and the house appears to be on the edge of a cliff.

A car partially fell into a drain in Kepadamugarh on Tuesday and another car met the same fate. Wazhakara also faced unprecedented flooding, with knee-high water swamping vehicles in parking lots and seeping into many houses.

Shaila Thadhevoose of Chullickal Division said that while West Kochi was relatively unaffected compared to Tuesday, south and north Moolamkuzhi, Parippu Junction, Nazreth, Karuvelippady and Thoppumpady experienced waterlogging, mainly due to the Pandarachira Thodu and Rameshwaram canals to which it leads Still not cleaned.

Flood-prone areas in the city such as Kalur, SA Road, South Railway Station and KSRTC bus stand were also affected.

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