News Karnataka
Monday, June 17 2024

Coastal Disaster Becoming a Growing Problem in Kerala

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Increasing the adoption of home insurance “can provide financial protection and support to individuals and businesses to recover and rebuild stronger after a disaster,” according to a new study assessing disaster risk along the coast of central Kerala. Other measures that the study mentions include improving drainage, installing early warning systems, and protecting the coastline.

Kerala’s shore is susceptible to several threats, such as storm surges, cyclones, and coastal erosion. Strong wave swells and fast winds in March of this year caused numerous homes and highways in the districts of Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, and Thrissur to flood, placing these areas on high alert.

The study evaluated the risk profile of a 190-kilometer length along the beaches of the districts of Thrissur, Ernakulam, and Alappuzha—“one of the fastest-growing areas driven by the expansion of harbors, marine trade, and tourism”—and it was published last month in the journal Natural Hazards. In addition, the central coast of Kerala was chosen since, in comparison to the north and south, it has the greatest frequency of danger incidents (12 per 10 kilometers).

According to the study, a variety of characteristics, including high population density, high built-up area, frequency of surge events, and heavy rainfall, made Punnapra (Alappuzha district), Ambalappuzha (Alappuzha), Chellanam (Ernakulam), and Kuzhupilly (Ernakulam) “very high risk zones.”

Around seven lakh (700,000) homes were destroyed or severely damaged by the floods that ravaged the state in 2018 and 2019, and the government had to pay nearly Rs. 1,800 crores (Rs. 18 billion) for their rehabilitation, according to news sources. Only about Rs. 1,000 crores (Rs. 10 billion) in insurance claims were filed, which at the time was considered by analysts to be a sign of low penetration in the state. The government’s payment for home reconstruction was minuscule compared to the losses and damages to housing and settlements that totaled Rs. 6,410 crores (Rs. 64 billion).

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