MADIKERI: Even as search operation for eight missing persons is still on, three more persons went missing in fresh landslides reported in Thora village, Virajpet taluk in Kodagu, on Saturday. A day before, seven persons had died due to landslides.
Search operation for the missing persons continued for the second day on Saturday by the NDRF, the Army and the locals, but all in vain. “Dog squad and metal detectors — everything was used to search the missing. None have been traced yet,” said SP Suman Pannekar.
The official data released on Saturday, however, only mentioned the eight persons missing in landslide. People in Thora village suspect that at least six estate workers have been caught under the landslide debris. DC Annies K Joy though insisted only eight have been officially reported missing.
Those who survived now recall the horror of the near-death experience. Acres of the estate has been washed off with no trace of what stood there before--an entire hill came crashing down, the Thora villagers recount.
Prabhu, who lived in Thora with his family in a house close to the village bridge, and first noticed the rise in the water level, swiftly shifted with his family into another estate house at a higher altitude, in the same village. Prabhu, Mamatha, his wife, and their daughter 15-year-old daughter Likitha shifted to another estate house on Friday.
But as fate would have it, he had gone out to check the bridge when his wife and daughter went washed away in the landslide. Their bodies later were retrieved, cremated on Saturday.
Floods recede across Kodagu
However, connectivity in the district improved to some extent on Saturday as there was some let up from the rains, and the rivers too receded. While Napoklu was still cut off, traffic was allowed on Gonikoppal-Ponnampet road. Water though has started receding in Gonikoppal town which was under water for the past four days.
Floods at some parts of Kushalnagar have receded; yet, most of the town, including Kudige, Kudmangaluru and Koppa are flooded from backwaters of Harangi Reservoir. Kushalnagar-Madikeri highway too is cut off for commute.