Kerala: People in relief camps too afraid to return home

CM makes personal contribution of Rs 1 lakh for relief
Report by: 
11 Aug 2018

"We are frightened to return to our homes," said women lodged in a relief camp here after they were forced to leave their houses, which faced the threat of flooding by gushing waters released from Idukki reservoir.
Most of those in the relief camp had to rush out of their houses with only the clothes they were wearing, they said. Muddy homes, wells brimming with dirty water, clogged toilets, snakes and other reptiles crawling inside their houses was giving them sleepless nights, they added. Nearly 400 flood-affected people, including 85 children from Keerithod in Kanjikuzhy panchayat near Cheruthoni are in the camp for the past two days as a precautionary measure after water was released from Idukki dam. Eight villages have been affected due to the release of water from the dam and nearly 1,000 people have been shifted to 20 relief camps, official sources said.
All five shutters of Cheruthoni dam, part of Idukki reservoir, were opened on Friday after incessant heavy rains increased the water level in the reservoir. This is for the first time in the history that all the gates of the dam have been opened, underlying the gravity of the situation. "We had to rush out with few belongings. We do not know what has happened to our homes," a woman said adding people coming from the area told them that water was flowing like "giant sea waves" in front of our homes. "We are scared to return to our homes," she said. However, life in the camp was quite comfortable. There is a common kitchen and all of us are eating together, she added. Tincy, a panchayat member said as prior warning about the release of water had been issued, any kind of human casualty was avoided. Meanwhile, people living at Kariveli Mannapuram in Aluva in Ernakulam district said mud and slush filled their homes due to waterlogging and well water has turned muddy.
Farmers in Puthenvelikara said about one lakh banana plants were destroyed in the region due to heavy rains and sought the state government to provide compensation. Bringing in some cheer in their hour of distress, noted South Indian actor, Mammooty, visited a relief camp at Parvoor in Ernakulam district last night and assured all possible help to the people. "Do not worry. We and several others are with you. What you are going through now is only temporary. You will return to your homes in a day," the 66-year-old actor said. Some in the camp clicked pictures of the actor and even posed for selfies with him.
With the state facing an unprecedented rain havoc, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has made a personal contribution of Rs one lakh to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). Urging everyone to contribute generously to relief efforts, Vijayan said in a Facebook post that rebuilding the affected areas is going to be an arduous task. The chief minister had also asked everyone to express solidarity with the people of the state in their hour of crisis. Meanwhile, Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy today announced a relief assistance of Rs 1 crore to the Kerala government to tackle the situation arising out of floods.
He also appealed to traders, industrialists and others to make generous contributions to the Puducherry Chief Minister Relief Fund which would be sent to the Kerala government for relief works. Twenty nine people have so far been killed in the heavy rains and floods since August 8 in the state and many homes damaged and crops destroyed.