Kollam, 16th December 2022: Hundreds of natives have left the scenic Munroe Thuruth, a cluster of islets located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallada River in Kerala, in recent years due to hazardous living conditions caused by unusual high tides post Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
The PTI reports that according to unofficial figures, the population of the island, named after erstwhile British resident Colonel Munroe, has dwindled to around 8,000 from 12,000-13,000 in recent years.
High tides and corresponding seepage of saline water into houses, waterlogging and connectivity issues are the main problems. The country boats are still the only mode of transportation there. There have been instances where people had to die due to delay in medical attention.
Their livelihood options like farming are also slowly vanishing from the region which once used to be lucrative for its coconut lagoons and mangrove patches. Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal has said that it is difficult to find solutions for Munroe Island’s problem since most of it are due to global warming and other natural phenomenons.
Despite all this, around 2000 people continue to survive there.
“Possibilities of “amphibian houses” and “light weight” constructions, using thin building articles, can also be explored as a solution for the submerging phenomenon as traditional houses are largely seen going underwater in the recent past,” the minister said.
“The island was formed through the deposition of “ekkal” (sediment) from Kallada River and constant inundation and waterlogging might have made the clay softer, causing it to lose the bearing capacity which may be the reason for the submerging of building foundations and flora,” a resident said to the PTI.