After the floods
On August 15, as the rest of India was celebrating Independence Day, the general manager of Coconut Lagoon, Shamboo, was growing worried. A local man, he saw the waters of the canals rising and knew something was wrong. Rising waters and flooding is normal to this low-lying region during the August monsoon, but this was different. The water was too muddy, and very red.
Shamboo didn’t wait. On August 16, he shifted the guests to Marari Beach Resort on the coast, switched off the electricity, told the staff to go home, and let the cows loose. Several managers stayed behind and they moved all the furniture up to a higher level.
By the 17th, the water was still rising, the snakes were coming out of the ground, and the house naturalist, Vishnu, said the water was not going to stop. Vishnu had been watching the birds, and by their movements, he knew this was not normal monsoon flooding.
Meanwhile, the villagers were getting desperate, so the remaining staff at Coconut Lagoon switched their efforts to helping the locals. By this time, the resort was completely flooded, and almost completely underwater.
Because of local knowledge and experience, there were no casualties in the Kumarakon region. People like Shamboo acted fast, and everyone fled to safety. Moreover, there was an incredible community spirit as everyone pitched in to help with the disaster relief.
After about August 19, the water began to subside and the staff started cleaning up Coconut Lagoon Resort. They set a deadline of September 1 to open the resort, and turn the electricity back on. They made the deadline, and have continued to work to bring things back to normal.
Resilience, local knowledge, and community spirit combined to save lives and bring the Backwaters back to their former glory.
Though everyone around the world heard about the terrible floods, they don’t know about how quickly the region recovered, and was ready to welcome tourists. And that’s the reason we are here.
Photo by @andrewadamsphotography#MeandCGHEarth#KeralaNowCGHEarth#CoconutLagoon#KeralaTourism#IncredibleIndia#keralafloods