Fury of sea has intensified posing grave threat to the coastal areas as southwest monsoon gathered momentum. Erosion of land in Chellanam near Kochi is threatening several houses in the area. A scene on Tuesday. (Photo: ARUNCHANDRA BOSE)
Kochi: The continuing torrential rain since Sunday evening has thrown normal life out of gear in the district. Low-lying areas in the district were inundated and water level in Muvattupuzha and Periyar rivers is rising as shutters of Malankara and Bhoothathankettu dams were opened. Five shutters of Bhoothathankettu dam were partially opened by one metre. Normally, the irrigation department opens dam shutters only by June when monsoon intensifies. However, this year water level in the dam increased even during the summer rains.
The temporary sand bund at Kanakkankadavu in Chalakudy river collapsed in the downpour. The sand bund was constructed to prevent intrusion of brackish water from the backwaters. The bund collapse will not affect agriculture in the nearby areas, according to farmers. In the wake of increasing water level, the district administration has issued an alert to the people residing along the banks of the rivers.
Meanwhile, due to incomplete pre-monsoon drain and canal cleaning, many city areas were flooded. It was bumper-to-bumper traffic along major roads and junctions. Aluva, Palarivattam junction, Kaloor, Ernakulam north and Menaka witnessed heavy traffic blocks. With no footpaths, pedestrians had to wade through the flooded roads. A hartal called by the Paschima Kochi Theera Samrakshana Samithi from Chellanam to Fort Kochi on Tuesday demanding immediate construction of sea wall was total. Braving heavy downpour, residents of coastal areas, including women, staged sit-in protest on the coastal road.