Five fire rescue personnel rushed through waist deep water in Kozhikode city's Rajeev Nagar on Thursday morning as they ran with a stretcher held above their shoulders to a waiting ambulance. They had just rescued an ailing and elderly woman from Rajeev Nagar in Kozhikode city, who had been trapped inside as water levels rose in the area following incessant rains.
"The situation inside is very bad. We are rescuing people that the district authorities and police are telling us to. The house we went to is completely submerged. We brought a dinghy to take in but it was not possible to use it here as water levels kept varying," said a member of the fire services as the ambulance rushed to the nearest hospital.
"Hundreds of people are still inside and water is upto shoulder level. It has filled the ground floors. People have to move higher and there is no electricity either," he adds.
Sprawling lawns, large bungalows and swanky cars all stood submerged at this posh residential area in Kozhikode which boasts of great real estate value. On Wednesday, despite warnings being issued across the state, residents here were not alarmed as the situation seemed under control and they deemed the water logging to be temporary. But overnight, incessant rains had raised water levels from one to three feet near the main road and upto five feet in areas inside.
Local fishermen had extended their services and were working with NGOs to rescue people from the area with boats. Three boats were dispatched to retrieve women and children first. Boats brought residents to a point where water merely covered their shins and they were then ferried on jeeps. These people were advised to bring the bare minimum belongings with them, wrapped in plastic covers for protection.
"There was water till the first floor. We were scared," said one rescued resident before she was rushed away in the vehicle.
When TNM was allowed to get on to one such boat that was doing its final rounds, our team found cars and bikes completely submerged in water and residents who did not leave, had moved to the first floor of their homes, hoping the water will recede.
Kozhikode has witnessed an excess of 22% rainfall in just the last one week and the showers are expected to continue for another 48 hours.