MADIKERI: At least three persons were confirmed dead and two others feared dead as unprecedented rains wreaked havoc in the hilly town of Madikeri and other parts of Kodagu district on Thursday.
As a result of copious rainfall that struck the region in the last two months, landslides occurred at numerous places of the district causing widespread damages to houses, private public properties abutting the hillocks.
The death toll is expected to go up in the coming days as several people are feared trapped or buried in the landslide. The district is on high alert as many hillocks damaged by cuts for construction of houses and roads have developed cracks and may fall anytime.
The fall of buildings and hillocks were captured on cellphones which soon went viral, triggering fear across the district. The rescue operation by NDRF, Civil Defence and others has been hit badly as many roads in the district are severely damaged while telephone lines are down and power blackout. Army has been called for the rescue operation which is expected to land in the district today with a helicopter. PWD minister HD Revanna said a temporary PWD regional office will be set up in Madikeri to carry out the reconstruction of damaged roads on warfoot basis. The state government has released Rs 20 crore for the rehabilitation works as a first installment. The minister said the government is committed to save the lives of people.
Hundreds of people have been rescued from across the districts and sheltered in 10 gruel centres.
In Madikeri town, several persons had a close shave when mounds of soil from an abutting hillock fell on shops and houses near the private bus stand. The industrial area at Adaka in Madikeri was inundated after a landslide brought in huge water from a stream.