A new port in Kerala sparks fears of sea erosion in coastal villages
The destruction of homes during the monsoon has left residents anxious. But experts say it is too early to blame the erosion on port construction.
When ferocious waves crash over the sea walls and hit the foundation of her home in Valiyathura, a fishing village in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram district, Alphonsa begins to say prayers, holding the Bible.
The 60-year-old woman has had sleepless nights for the last three months ever since the sea became rough after the monsoon gathered momentum in the second week of June. The fate of her tiny brick house worries her most. When it was built 10 years ago, it stood more than 500 metres away from the shoreline. But the erosion of the beach has reduced the distance to a mere two metres now. Even the sea wall – a defence structure made of boulders – can no longer protect the house from the sea water that comes flooding in.