Rajeev’s house after the water receded. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: An Abu Dhabi resident has been going through sleepless nights since Wednesday, August 15, as he is unable to reach many of his extended family members in Aluva in Ernakulum district, one of the worst affected areas of Kerala’s devastating flood.

“My parents had to move twice — first to a paternal uncle’s home and then to another relative’s home — to escape the floods. They, along with two paternal uncles’ families, are safe now,” Deepesh Rajeev, 35, an engineer in Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News on Sunday. He said he has a large extended family, with uncles, aunts and in-laws, but none of them are traceable since Wednesday.

“We hope they all are safe somewhere. Probably they are incommunicado due to the breakdown of electricity, telephone and mobile networks,” Rajeev said. “Throughout these days, I have been trying to reach them through all means: land phone, mobile phone, WhatsApp and other social media channels, but no success so far!”

He said his two-storey house on the bank of the Aluva River was completely submerged.

His parents were prepared to move when they received an early warning from authorities a week ago. However, the water subsided after a while and they thought the flood had ebbed. Then came the sudden warning again and they left for his paternal’ uncle’s home, Rajeev said.

The next day, authorities issued a warning for residents to leave that area as well. “Then they all had to move another relatives’ home a few kilometres away,” he said.

Rajeev said his ancestral home has belonged in his family for the past three centuries. “They had survived the devastating flood in 1924. My parents knew about river’s flow and character,” Rajeev said.

But this time, the river flood more violently, defying all traditional knowledge, he said.

The family has lost its home, land and a furniture shop run by his father. “We have lost all our property, including my father’s source of livelihood.”

But he is confident that he and his two brothers can rebuild everything. “Our family got everything with hard work and determination and without anyone’s support. That spirit will help us rebuild our lives.”

For now, his concern is tracing family members. “Hope they all are safe and we can reach them soon,” Rajeev said.