KOCHI: Unlike last year’s deluge, people residing the river banks and low-lying areas started to move to safer places such as relief camps opened by district administration or to relatives’ houses, without any formal instruction from authorities.
Last year, people were reluctant to leave their houses, even when the situation turned grave, and ignored the warnings of authorities causing much difficulty to rescue volunteers.
“Many families in low-lying areas such as Kunnukara, Thela-thuruth, Elanthikkara, Puthanvelikara dairy villages started to move from Thursday evening itself. We got calls from many people seeking help to shift their belongings, cattle and vehicles to highland areas,” said M.T. Jayan, former chairman of the Ernakulam region of Milma and president of Elanthikkara milk society.
On Thursday night, vehicles were parked on bridges and cattle were seen tied to both sides of Manjaly bridge. Animals were also shifted to school grounds, relief camps and plots in safer places.
“Dairy farmers, who lost their means of livelihood in last year’s deluge and on a revival path, are much concerned of heavy rains and increasing water level. They are reluctant to take any risk and wanted to shift cattle before the situation worsens. Hence, they didn’t wait for a communication from the authorities and shifted animals even before they move to relief camps,” he added.
Several families were seen transporting their belongings like home appliances, furniture and other valuable thi ngs to relatives’ houses even when river water started to enter the road.