Heavy rain battered parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu since Monday night as the surging sea caused extensive damage, raising concern among the coastal communities.
Three weeks ahead of the scheduled onset of the south-west monsoon, huts on the ‘first line’–closest to the sea–in Thiruvananthapuram’s coastal neighbourhoods of Valiathura and Poonthura were completely destroyed.
Unofficial reports estimated that around 100 houses were damaged in the region. Residents continued efforts to pile cement bags together in place of the breached rock walls.
There was tension in Valiathura after residents staged a protest against the government’s failure in erecting makeshift rock walls to keep the rough seas away.
The residents have repeatedly demanded reconstruction of rock walls even as disaster management experts maintained that the walls did not offer a long-term solution.
Sekhar L Kuriakose, member of Kerala State Disaster Management Authority and Head (scientist) of the State Emergency Operations Centre, told DH: “A belt of vegetation along the coast could be part of the way forward but we are still stuck with demands for temporary arrangements like rock wall.”
In Alappuzha district, homes in the coastal pockets of Purakkad, Ambalappuzha, Thuravoor and Mararikkulam were also hit by sea erosion. The Met department has predicted heavy rain in parts of Kerala till Thursday.
Depression along TN coast
Normal life was severely affected due to heavy rain in Chennai on Tuesday as the low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal turned into a deep depression, prompting the Met department to predict more rain in north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the next 24 hours.
The Met department said that the sea condition would be rough to very rough along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast. Nannilam in Tiruvarur district recorded the highest rainfall of 140 mm during the last 24 hours, followed by Chembarabakkam in Tiruvallur district which recorded 120 mm rain.