Kochi: Residents of the city and West Kochi have been reeling from high tide-induced waterlogging over the past week. People living on the banks of the canals face flooding of their compounds and homes at high tide, especially at night and early in the morning. Areas that have been flooded in the past week include Edakochi North, Edakochi South, Karipalam, Mattancherry and Gandhinagar.
Although high tide is common during the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam, local people have claimed that the intensity of the tide has increased this time. Experts believe that it is the pre-existing conditions due to an erratic weather response during the northeast monsoon that are now compounding the problems associated with the high tide.
“We received quite heavy rains during the northeast monsoon due to the impact of climate change. The response of water bodies and land changed after that. during this period and when the water of the lake enters the inner parts through the channels due to the high tide, it does not seep into the basement.Due to heavy rains, many landslides occur. are also produced and the sediments and debris accumulated in the lakes. This resulted in the lakes becoming shallow and the tides acting on the water level,” says Balchand AN, Visiting Professor at Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos).
He also said that external factors such as the rehabilitation of water bodies, encroachments and illegal mining on beaches compound the problems.
TK Ashraf, chairman of the company’s standing health committee and adviser to the Mattanchery division, said almost all areas of West Kochi witnessed flooding due to the high tide. “High tide is quite common in Vrishchikam. But this temporal intensity is high due to climate change. Also, all the water bodies in the area have been reclaimed over the years. As a result, rising water has no space to seep into the ground. The problem persists until 9am when the water recedes into the sea.
Society cannot do anything about the problems caused by climate change. We have already cleaned the canals in the area,” he said.
While Abilash Thoppil, Councilor of Edakochi South, said sediment deposition in the river bed of Vembanad Lake has increased and it has reduced the water holding capacity. “Dredging should be done in the lake to increase its retention capacity. The water rose to a height of a foot and a half in the yards of the houses of my division at high tide. Three locks need to be built in different parts of South Edakochi to solve the problem. However, the problem will persist until the construction of a culvert in the northern division of Edakochi, the funds for which were allocated in 2018,” he said.