Clean up begins in Kottayam as more rains are predicted

The authorities have identified 33 landslip-prone locations in the district

As sunny skies returned to Kottayam for the second consecutive day, people in the flood-ravaged parts of Kottayam returned to their homes and business establishments to assess the damage

Residents returned to Koottickal, Kanjirappally and Mundakkayam after the floodwaters receded to find piles of debris and mud-caked roads.

People, assisted by volunteer groups equipped with gloves and pressure cleaners, pulled out soaked furniture and other debris from houses. Thick layers of mud, scooped up from houses using shovels, were carted off to dumping locations while some others used brooms made of tree branches to sweep away the debris.

Vehicles damaged by the flash floods were placed under the sun with their doors and bonnets open .The clean-up initiatives were complicated by power cut and flood ravaged roads, which hampered the movement of men and machinery.

The focus was on ferrying food, medical supplies and other essentials to isolated areas.

Across the vast flood zone in the foothills of the Western Ghats, people still remained in relief camps and it was till unsafe for them to return in view of the heavy rain predicted over the next few days. Based on the reports by the Geological Survey of India in 2018 and the State disaster management Authority in 2019, the authorities have identified 33 landslip-prone locations in the district.

District Collector P.K. Jayasree has directed people in flood or landslide prone areas to shift to safer places and entrusted the Tahsildar, village officer and local self-government secretary with the task. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and the State Water Transport Department have been directed to provide transport facilities for shifting people to the camps.

Deputy Collectors have been appointed in all the five taluks of the district to coordinate various departments and carry out relief work. Steps are also in place to open as many as 213 camps across these taluks with a facility to accommodate 16,890 people.

The District Supply Officer has been tasked with supplying vegetables and food grains to the camps in coordination with the Supplyco, Horticorp and Consumer Fed.

The Public Works Roads Executive Engineer has been assigned to remove the soil deposits on the Manimala, Erumeli Kuruvanazhi and Vellavoor bridges. The Major-Minor Irrigation Departments have been directed to remove trees and soil obstructing the flow of water in the rivers.

The total number of relief camps in the district, meanwhile, rose to 49, which together accommodated 2,883 people from 794 families.

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