BENGALURU: Between 12 noon and 12.30 pm Sunday, Hulimavu Lake near Bannerghatta began overflowing owing to a breach in the lake bund. Water entered homes and apartments nearby, inundating surrounding areas and affecting approximately 800 homes.
BBMP officials rushed to the spot and managed to contain the breach by 8 pm, commissioner BH Anil Kumar said. Floodwaters rose to 2ft - 5ft.
After five hours of the lake breaching, 193 people were rescued — 130 residents were guided to safety with the help of ropes, while 63 were evacuated in boats. They included senior citizens, women, children and infants.
The National Disaster Response Force, Civil Defence, CRPF, KSRP, police personnel, marshals, fire brigade and ambulances were pressed into service in localities like BTM Layout, RR Layout, Bilekahalli, Krishna Layout, Royal Residency and Avani Shringeri Nagar.
De-watering floating pumps, life jackets, floating stretchers, ropes, shovels, first-aid kits and searchlights were used.
“We evacuated people from flooded houses in low-lying areas. Some of them are accommodated in an indoor badminton court nearby and given bedsheets, food, water and milk for children,” an engineer said. People were also housed at a school, Ambedkar Bhavan and Sai Baba Ashram.
Swetha, a resident of BTM Layout Stage 4, said, “Water started flowing on to the roads around 2pm. We thought it was sewage water but later found out that Hulimavu Lake had breached.”
Another resident, Priya, said, “Our furniture is damaged. Our house was half-filled with water, when we ran to a neighbour’s house on the second floor. We were rescued by the Civil Defence team.”
Cannot determine cause: BBMP chief
“We are unable to determine how it happened. We only know that someone tried to open a portion of the bund to make the water level of the lake go down. We informed police and they are investigating. The breach was fixed by 8pm, and water is being pumped out,” Kumar told TNIE.
Nagendran, a Civil Defence team member, said, “We reached the spot at 3.30pm and rescue operations went on till 8pm. We used three boats to get people out.”
Damage to vehicles and other property will be estimated by revenue officials once the situation is completely under control. Solid Waste Management department officials were instructed to clear up the area. JCBs owned by the BBMP and BMRCL are working to cover the lake breach.