The men who went on a rescue mission found the task difficult because of the flow of water, but managed to rescue a few stranded people before their boats gave.

Kerala floods Fishermen travel over 120km rescue stranded people from Chengannur
news Kerala Floods Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 20:40

Thirty fishermen from Poonthura in Thiruvananthapuram went to the flood-affected areas in Alappuzha district today for rescue operations.

By evening, they were able to take 40 people to a relief camp at a school and 50 others to dry land, but by then some of their boats had broken, engines too.

They are now sitting on the broken boats, without any clue as to where to spend the night or what to do.

“We came to a place called Kollakadavu in Chegannur. But the flow was so thick we couldn’t row the boats there. We found lots and lots of people trapped there, but couldn’t reach them. Only a few people could be taken on the boats to safety,” says Jinu, one of the fishermen who went from Poonthura.

The men went on lorries with 21 boats, after a call came to the Poonthura Church. “Someone from the government had called,” Jinu says.

On reaching Chengannur, the men went in different directions and as of now, Jinu is not sure where most of them are. Only three boats, including Jinu’s, have come back as of now and all three are broken.

He sounds unhappy with the work they did too. The school they took the people to was already full of flood victims rescued earlier. There were no clothes, food or even space to lie down.

For Jinu and the others it is the same dilemma, “We haven’t eaten anything since morning. And in the evening we asked them for some food and got meals. Now we don’t know where to sleep, we are just staying on our boats.”

The only bit of peace comes from the fact that the rains are seeming to recede. “It was raining heavily in the noon but it’s come down later,” Jinu says.

Policemen coordinating the rescue operations have asked the men from Poonthura to stay back one more day as their help might be needed tomorrow as well.

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