14.2 pc area of Kerala prone to flood: 2009 Study
Thiruvananthapuram: A report showing about 14.2 percent of the total area of Kerala are prone to floods, remain in government’s possession without any action for 10 years.
The authorities seem to have ignored the report that contains the safe places where disasters are less likely and the paths leading to these locations. After the flood hit the state, the government ordered further study on the same subject.
The National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) had found that 5642.68 sq.km. area is under risk of flood in the state. Also, it had noted that 1847.98 sq. km. area of places are under threat of landslip.
The study was staged in a period between 2006 and 2009. All these places were affected by flood and landslide this year. NCESS has started detailed assessments in this regard.
The NCESS had handed over the natural disaster risk map prepared as per the study to the revenue authorities and the district collectors. However, neither the government nor the district administrators took necessary precautions despite the report due to the lack of prior experience.
The government has started proceeding with the study on the grounds of the flood. They have imposed restrictions for reconstruction works in the places where mudslips occurred until the study report is published.
Senior consultant of NCESS Dr. John Mathai who led the study said that the report was prepared by organising the satellite images and reports of the meteorological department and the locally gathered information.
About 53.77 percent areas in Alappuzha district, especially Kuttanad region, are under flood risk. The Kole wetlands in Thrissur, coastal regions of Malappuram and Ernakulam districts, western area of Kottayam district and river banks in Mananthavady of Wayanad also are prone to flood.
About 4.71 percent area of the state are likely to suffer landslide and mudslips. Devikulam, Vythiri, Nilambur, Mannarkkad and Ranni taluks are most important among them. Another 3759 sq.km. area was categorised as areas less prone to landslips.
The major reasons for flood are the heavy rains that brings more water than the soil can absorb and the water not flowing away from the rivers. Also the soil deposit in the river prevent the channels from not fully opening to the sea resulting in overflowing.
The places flooded by the overflowing, the amount of water and the damages are supposed to be added to the records. This facilitates the precautions to be taken ahead of disasters. The public places to relocate the people in view of disasters can be constructed under supervision of local bodies, Dr. John Mathai said.