Mangalureans live a nightmare as rains lash without a break

With students, workers stranded, low-lying areas flooded, people were left panicking.

Published: 30th May 2018 04:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th May 2018 04:42 AM   |  A+A-

Flash floods hit Mangaluru city on Tuesday, with residents being severely inconvenienced. Many had to be rescued. I pics by Rajesh Shetty Ballalbagh

Express News Service

MANGALURU: Many holding a fast during the holy month were forced to forgo the traditional breaking of fast with family. In a case, about 15 pre-university college students who were in the bus on the way to Kottar Chowki from Nantur were the stranded in a bus for three and half hours. Finally at 8:30, a good samaritan Iqbal from Suratkal responded to a request for food for the students who seemed to be fainting. After a while, the traffic cleared.

Students who were stuck in schools tried to leave in the evening. However, they were faced with a lack of public transport and bus shelters. Buses and other vehicles were stuck the slow-moving traffic in flooded areas. Parents rushed to schools to pick up their children. Rickshaws were missing as stands as they were plying passengers to and fro. While some pooled passangers, others looking for a ride were left on the street as richshaws refused to ferry them.

Several working personnels rushed back to their houses to help members at home. In Bejai, a physically challenged man was stuck in his inundated house. In no time, his wife, working in another part of the city came to help him out. Shopkeepers were at a loss and poured out flood water from low lying areas in Kodialbail and artifically created floods at Nantur circle.

Even in houses, people were left fearful. Part of the city that fell in low-lying areas in Jeppinamogaru, Kottara Chowki, areas in Derlakatte and Shaktinagar, expected slight flooding but saw houses submerged and walls collapse. Suchitra Talkies compound wall fell on a man’s house in Tank Colony, and the drain water there has entered his house. Tank colony stormwater drain overflowed, and waterlogged till 7 pm. VT Road Shashtry compound 4 houses water has entered and at Trishuleshwar Temple, water entered a Shet house At GHS Aithhappa compound three houses were flooded by rainwater drain closure. Tranquil apartments was damaged as DC bunglow compound wall fell on it.

Residents of the non low lying areas who did not expect a downpour to impact their movement were taken by surprise when the storm water drains overflowed. Water entered Alake, Mannagudda Pumpwell Kodial Guttu West Kadri Kambla Vidyanagar Suratkal - Cholkebettu Urwa- Hoigebail, Bejai- Bharatinagar all areas had complaints of water flooding homes. Pedestrians were stranded as roads were flooded with drains were to close down storm drains during road expansions.

Tuesday’s rains bring back memories of worst floods
The incessant rains and flash floods inundating low-lying areas on Tuesday ignited memories of ‘Maaribolla’ (biggest floods) that had struck the district among elderly people. Much before the 1974 Maaribolla, South Canara Gazetteer records the biggest ever flood to have hit the district was in 1923. All the rivers flowing through the undivided dakshina kannada district, including Netravathy, Kumardhara, Gurupura, Suvarna, and Seetha were in spate. Thousands lost their homes and were reduced to the state of beggars after the rivers flooded homes in Bantwal,  Panemangaluru and Uppinangady. That year had witnessed the highest ever exodus with people from villages migrating to Mangaluru and Mumbai in order to eke a living. 

The gazetteer also records that paddy and rice bags of worth Rs 20,000 stocked in godowns and granary were washed away in the floods. It was exactly 50 years later, the second Maaribolla struck the district (July 26, 1974). Due to the floods, as many as 5,000 houses collapsed to the ground and 4,000 houses were partially damaged. Six people had lost their lives and as many as 11,000 people were rendered homeless. The district also witnessed the death of 172 cattle and destruction of paddy crop (3,500 acres) due to water logging. The district administration then had estimated the total loss due to the biggest flood at Rs 2,72,29,213.

A cloud burst in Udupi, part of undivided DK disrict, in 1982 triggered massive rains and floods. Elderly citizens still remember with a shudder on how the blue sky suddenly turned dark to trigger floods in the region. In that floods as many as 18 people had lost their lives.  As many as 347 houses were destroyed and over 5,417 people were rendered without homes. The assessment of loss due to Tuesday’s flash floods is likely to begin from Wednesday, if weather permits.

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