After the worst deluge, Kerala is gearing up to clear the debris and rebuild everything that was ravaged by the waters. The state is, however, facing a new challenge as receding waters leave behind a glut of snakes.

Reports said several hospitals in the worst-hit areas of the state had reported an increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for snakebites.

"Snakebites are reported from flood-affected areas as the cleaning operations are going on. The hospitals are directed to keep stock of anti-venom medicines to deal with the emergency situation. The Health Department has also issued an alert in the flood-affected areas," says Rajeev Sadanandan, Additional Chief Secretary, Kerala Health Department.

Snakebites are reported from Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakad and Malappuram districts. The Local Self Government bodies have hired snake catchers from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The Forest Department has also deployed their teams to handle

snake menace in the flood-hit areas.

Though there are various kinds of venomous snakes in Kerala, experts say the most common poisonous snakes after the floods are cobra, common krait and viper.

"I'm scared of the snakes. Many people who cleaned their premises told me that they found plenty of snakes inside their cupboards, under carpets and even inside kichen utensils," Jaison Francis, an NRI from Australia said. Jaison has flown from Melbourne to Thiruvananthapuram yesterday after his home in Edathuruthy in Thrissur district was flooded.

His relatives had sent him photographs of his flooded house and now he is on 10 day leave to clean up the mess.

"We never thought that our house would be flooded. It's not the loss that's worrying us but the tasks is to clean up the house," Jaison said. Around 2,000 families were sent to the relief camps and most of them lost everything. Hundreds of NRIs are coming to Kerala to asses their losses caused due to the floods.
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