Timely intervention of local residents helped save the life of four members of a family including an infant after the car in which they were travelling fell into a rivulet on the night of August 4. The incident happened at Parechal near Thiruvathukkal in Kottayam district at around 11.30 pm. The four member family travelling from Ernakulam to Thiruvalla, misled by internet navigation, lost their way and fell into the rivulet.
According to residents, when they came running towards the car it was half immersed in the water and the family was calling for help. A woman, her son, daughter and her four months old grandchild were inside the car. Residents who helped them rescue the family told the media that they saw the family calling for help by hitting the glass windows of the car. They tied a rope to the car's tyres and tried to pull it ashore. Though they were not able to fully pull the vehicle back to shore, they were able to open the back door and rescue the people inside.
Since Kottayam had heavy rains on Thursday the water level and flow in the rivers and streams were very high. People who rescued the family said the vehicle would have drifted away and submerged easily in the rivulet, as the water level and currents were very high. They said that they were able to rescue the family only because the vehicle got stuck in the mud.
A red alert was issued in 8 districts, including Kottayam, of Kerala on Thursday by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as rains continued to lash various parts and disrupted the day-to-day lives of the people. Roads in low-lying areas got flooded or caved in and many got displaced from their homes to relief camps.
The heavy downpour resulted in water levels of various rivers – like Chalakudy, Pampa, Manimala and Achankovil – in various districts rising close to or crossing danger levels.