MADIKERI (KARNATAKA): Heavy rainfall, which was hampering rescue efforts in flood-hit Kodagu, receded across Kodagu district on Saturday bringing the flood situation under control thereby helping authorities to shift the affected people to relief camps.
The authorities have started clearing debris that had blocked the roads at several places in the district due to landslides. Hundreds of people trapped in villages that turned into islands due to landslides and floods were evacuated by the NDRF, Quick Response Team and army forces.
Though choppers had arrived in Madikeri, the inclement weather prevailing in the region prevented them from airlifting the people. The authorities without waiting much went ahead with evacuating people in whatever way they could and using the available resources.
In some places, the personnel trekked for kilometers to rescue the people. In Jodupala, NDRF personnel rescued several people including a pregnant woman. The body of a man who was missing since a massive landslide in the village on Friday was found floating in a stream.
Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda visited the rain-affected areas. He said nearly 40 villages have been washed off in the floods and landslides.
“I haven’t seen such a disaster in my lifetime. Army and military is working hard to rescue the 500 others stranded in various landlocked areas including Madenandu. They are hopeful of rescuing all affected people by today evening. I have been informed that many bodies are under the debris of landslides, however, the exact number is not known. Union govt will provide the required support to the district. Priority is given to saving lives of those stranded. I have come here to Kodagu to observe the situation and I will submit a report of the devastation to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and road transport minister Nitin Gadkari. I will assure that houses will be constructed for the needy by the govt,” he said.
MLA K G Bopaiah said: “I will submit a report to union govt about the inability of the district administration to take quick action. While the administration has enough funds they aren’t releasing it. When asked about the same, they ask us to give a written request. This is absurd.”