Job, a fisherman from Kollam district, was clearly frustrated. He had just come back in his boat to a road in Chengannur which was being used as a temporary jetty. Though he and fellow fisherfolk had gone inside the taluk nearby, people were not willing to get onto the boats.
"There is water in their houses. Some of them are on the terrace, but they still don't want to come with us. They want us to deliver food and water," he says.
This is a complaint that fishermen, Navy and NDRF have been echoing in many districts. Even in Kuttanad, where people were asked to evacuate on Saturday night, many refused to leave their houses.
"They think we are delivery people. Everyone wants food. The problem is they don't have TV or radio or phone. They don't know the Alappuzha administration has asked people to evacuate. They don't believe us when we tell them," says Josh, a fisherman working with rescue teams in Kuttanad.
The story is the same in areas like Thiruvanvandoor and Pandanad in Chengannur. "Some people are not cooperating with rescue operations. Instead they are waiting for the water to recede," NCC Co 14 Battalion Pathanamthitta head, PS Thoor said. "Their houses are flooded, but still they hesitate to move. We tried to convince them to come out of the house. When they refuse to come we make sure that food and water is given to them," he continued
Pandanad and Thiruvanvandoor in Chengannur have been cut off for the past three days.
In some places, reluctance to get onto boats has delayed rescue mission. In Mala in Thrissur, people trapped in buildings refused to get on fishing boats that had come to rescue them on Thursday. When water did not recede on Friday, they panicked and requested the boats to come back again.