MADIKERI: Kodagu had never seen a disaster of this proportion in ages. Mukkodlu village, which is around 35 km from Madikeri, is completely destroyed. Acres of estates, numerous houses and roads have been washed off from the map completely.
The village had lost ties with all kinds of communication and connectivity. Army and NDRF teams failed in their rescue efforts here. But the local rescue team of 30 members, who knew the terrain better than the Army, led by MLA Appachu Ranjan, climbed up Kote Betta in Madapura and trekked through forests to reach Mukkodlu village. Equipped with ropes, two youngsters plugged them across the flooded area and rescued six people, including two children on August 17. This team rescued 40 other stranded villagers and brought them to safety at a relief centre through Madapura.
Another local team reached a stranded villager Ponnachettira Madappa’s family in Mukkodlu. “The family lived with a physically handicapped person. With no groceries and no food to cook, the family had lost hope,” recalled Vijay, one of the locals involved in the rescue operation. This team of 10 local youths led the family to safety. “We were hungry and were without food for five days. I never thought that I would see the outer world again,” expressed Ponnachettira Chondamma, a family member of the rescued.