On the first anniversary of last year's devastating floods, Kerala is stunned by yet another season of flash floods and land slips. Most of the roads in the state have been ravaged by the gushing flood waters. Many roads between Kasaragod and Ernakulam have taken a beating, making it extremely difficult for vehicles to pass. Some of them are destroyed to such an extent that traffic has become impossible through these roads.
The floods and the devastating land slips have caused havoc in Wayanad, completely isolating the district. Though all the major roads here are destroyed, travellers and rescue personnel could choose the following routes to reach the flood wreaked Wayanad.
Traffic has been reinstated in the Kozhikode-Kollagal highway as the water level in the Ponkuzhi River has lowered. Vehicles weren't allowed in this route from Thursday onwards as the road was completely submerged. The Mananthavadi-Thalassery road has collapsed at the 42nd mile at Boys Town. Meanwhile, the traffic has been restored at the Bathery-Kozhikode route via the Thamarasserry mountain pass.
The KSRTC buses are running services to Kozhikode via Perinthalmanna-Manjeri-Valluvambram routes. However, the train services have only been partially restored. Pattambi Bridge has been opened as the water has receded here. The traffic to the Palakkad-Guruvayur route through this bridge is back to normal. Palakkad-Coimbatore and Palakkad-Nelliampathy routes too have been opened.
Towards Kottayam and Alappuzha
Travellers should take the Kottayam-Mavelikkara-Ambalappuzha-Alappuzha route instead of Kottayam-Changanassery-Alappuzha and Kottayam-Kumarakom-Cherthala routes.
However, one could go to Alappuzha by taking the Kottayam-Medical College-Kallara, Edayazham route via the Thannermukkam bund.
Vehicles are running in the Kottayam-Vaikom route. But the bus services in the Kottayam-Kumarakom route has been suspended due to rising water levels. It is better to avoid this route as there aren't any alternative routes to reach Kumarakom.
It would be difficult to travel to Munnar and other places in Idukki for at least some time. The road near the photo point in the Munnar-Mattupetty road has been washed away. Only small vehicles are allowed through this route now. This year, the monsoon has wreaked complete havoc in the districts that are known for its beautiful tourist destinations. This has gravely affected the tourism here. The tourism sector hopes to bounce back by the Onam holidays, only if the rain subsides and the roads are rebuilt and repaired as soon as possible.
An entire hill, near Moonnukannara at Thenmala, had collapsed above the railway lines last year. It took around 4 days for the mud and boulders to be cleared off the railway lines. The Madurai divisional railway manager, who had visited the site then, told that a protective wall should be built where the land slip had happened and an iron fence should be installed in the rest of the area. However, this year, the railway has suspended all the services in this route to avoid any untoward incident.
Gavi and Ponmudi
The Pathanamthitta district has suffered grave losses in the torrential rains that have battered the district till Saturday. The officials haven't been able to determine the exact amount of losses, especially in the agricultural sector. The forest department has instructed travellers to avoid trips to Gavi.
It would be better to avoid trips to Ponmudi in Thiruvananthapuram as well. Tourists and travellers should strictly refrain from taking trips to the hilly areas in this severe weather as warnings of land slips have been issued at many such places.