MADIKERI: Heavy rain and resulting landslides have claimed seven lives in Kodagu district on Friday. While five people died at Korangala village near Bhagamandala, two were killed in Thora village of Virajpet taluk.
Yashwanth (44), a resident of Korangala, had shifted out of his small house in the same village to the Attadi Ain Mane (family home). He requested his neighbours to help him shift some belongings out of the family home as it was under threat of landslides. Accordingly, Kalana Ravi, Kalana Uday Kumar, Bolana Bala Krishna, Bolana Yamuna, Prasad, Nidubatte Vasant and a few others went there.
“Around 9.30 am, we were standing near the Ain Mane and were about to enter when the earth came crashing down. We ran as fast as we could, but a few got stuck under the debris,” recalled Ravi.
Prasad, Radhakrishna and two other villagers who were stuck in the debris were saved. Ravi said he saw two people getting buried under the earth.
“We immediately called the control room,” Ravi said.
While locals retrieved two bodies, the search team which reached the spot in the evening hours, retrieved three more bodies. The deceased were identified as Kalana Uday Kumar (43), Attadi Yashwanth (44), Bolana Balakrishna (50) and his wife Yamuna (40) and Nidubatte Vasanth (50).
All except Nidubatte Vasanth were residents of Korangala. Vasanth was a resident of K Nidugade village under Galibeedu Grama Panchayat.
He had lost his house last year in a landslide and since he had not been allotted a house under the rehabilitation effort, he was staying at his son-in-law Prasad’s house in Korangala.
The bodies could be retrieved hours after the disaster as the search team had to take a boat from Bhagamandala to reach the village, which had turned into an island.
Residents of Thora village made a panic call to the Kodagu district control room on Friday morning saying that many families were stuck due to flooding.
The NDRF, Army and district police were immediately alerted and a rescue operation began around noon. The teams moved over 300 people to safer places.