Kannur: A calamity looms large over vast areas of the district as Pazhassi dam started overflowing and Iritty town downstream was submerged following relentless rain since Sunday night. The people are living in fear as there is the threat of the dam collapsing in case the reservoir is swelled to an unmanageable level. The Vazhayil bridge in Ayyankunnu panchayat was swept away following a landslide on Monday. In the second landslide on Tuesday, a boy lost his life.
The villages located near the border of the state bore the brunt of the rain fury. In Iritty town, the business centre of cash crops, nearly 250 shops were under water. Over 100 houses were submerged and the Iritty tribal hostel was isolated as a result of the flood. As many as 75 tribal children living in the hostel were shifted to safer places. Iritty block panchayat office, AEO office and several other offices have been cut off from the rest of the district. Road traffic remained paralysed.
Traffic to Karnataka region from different parts of the district here came to a halt on Tuesday. Families living in vulnerable areas are being evacuated. The biggest threat facing the people in this part of the district, some 40 km from Kannur town, is the overflowing Pazhassi dam. Usually during the monsoons, the shutters are kept open, but this time, only nine shutters could be opened aggravating the situation. The authorities had failed to do maintenance work in time.
Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan visited the affected areas and the Pazhassi dam along with Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan on Tuesday morning as directed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is away in Delhi.