Mumbai: In some parts of Kerala, flood water is beginning to recede and that has encouraged some people to move from safe locations such as relief camps to their own homes. But these people have to reckon with, in their mucky homes, an uninvited guest — venomous and non-venomous snakes.
Sharing one such instance is Omana Pynadath, “My husband (Jose Pynadath) and I went over to my brother-in-law’s place (he lives near Chalakudy river) to check his well-being. He told us that after the flood water had receded he started cleaning his house and that is when he noticed a long king cobra. He tried to shoo it away but it stood its ground. Finally, they closed the door and hoped that the snake will go away. “It did sneak out from the window many hours later.
A resident of Chalakudy, KC Paul, was cleaning his house with his neighbours when they encountered a snake. “We chased it away only to find another one. My house was submerged in water for two days. So, snakes took refuge in my home.” Some people are killing snakes in their vicinity, dreading that the reptiles might enter other houses that are deserted. But luckily no reports of snake bite has surfaced.
But even as some are bemoaning the threat from these legless creatures, there are others who are mourning the loss of their legged companions – such as chickens, dogs, cows and buffaloes. Omana said, “The water level in some places rose so menacingly that they were not able to reach and save their pets. If only the animals were untied, they would have survived.”
Despite the general improvement in conditions, some people want to continue living in camps, said Jose Pynadath. “Some people feel that they are safe in camps and there needs of food and other essentials are taken care of,” said Jose, who went to meet his friends at one such camp located in Koratty, Thrissur. In certain areas, where residents didn’t move out, Army, Navy and other officials are keeping a close watch and catering to their needs. Railway lines in some areas are operational but private buses are not; this is because petrol pumps are dry, said Omana.