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Karnataka braces for floods as more rains expected

Heavy rains over the last few days have disrupted normal life in several districts which are now staring at a flood-like situation as they grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Published: 06th August 2020 03:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th August 2020 03:12 AM   |  A+A-

A road in a residential area in Belagavi is inundated after heavy rains that lashed parts of the state in the last 24 hours on Wednesday | ASHISHKRISHNA HP

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Heavy rains over the last few days have disrupted normal life in several districts which are now staring at a flood-like situation as they grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic. The State Government is closely monitoring the situation as rains are likely to continue over the next three-four days.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who is currently under treatment at a private hospital in Bengaluru after testing positive for Covid-19, spoke to Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar over phone and directed him to release Rs 50 crore for taking up emergency works. “In the wake of heavy rains in several parts of the state, I have instructed the Chief Secretary to review the situation and issued instructions to DCs to closely monitor the situation and take necessary measures.

I have also ordered immediate release of Rs 50 crore for emergency relief purposes,” Yediyurappa said.
Revenue Minister R Ashoka, who is currently in home quarantine, also spoke to deputy commissioners of the flood-prone districts and senior officers and reviewed the situation. 

Govt trying to prevent a repeat of 2019

The CM and Revenue Minister directed the officers to take adequate precautionary measures and put in place a system to provide immediate relief to affected people. Meanwhile, senior officers are coordinating with their counterparts in Maharashtra on the release of water from dams as lack of coordination was one of the major factors that led to the devastating floods in 2019 in North Karnataka. The government has issued a “Red Alert’ in Kodagu, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga, Chikkamagalur and Hassan districts.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in flood-prone districts, Ashoka said, adding that while the government’s focus is on fighting Covid-19, flood preparedness is also a top priority now. As per the forecast by the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), several parts of the state are likely to receive heavy rain over the next three to four days. “We are receiving heavy rains, both overhead rains as well as rains in catchment areas, and the next three to four days will be crucial,” said a KSNMDC official.

Local administrations have been asked to take all precautionary measures on priority. The Cauvery catchment has been receiving heavy rainfall and with more rains predicted, huge inflow into the dams in the basin is expected. In Belagavi, rivers Markandey, Malaprabha, Ghataprabha, Doodhaganga and Krishna are brimming and thousands of acres of farmlands along both stretches of the Markandey and Malaprabha rivers have been submerged by the overflowing rivers.

Several houses were damaged and standing crops washed away in parts of Alur and Sakleshpur taluk in Hassan, while Gangavalli river is in spate and the highways connecting Ankola-Hubballi and Sirsi-Banavasi too were waterlogged. The Bedthi river in Yellapur is flowing above the danger mark and locals fear that the flood situation of 2019 might repeat again.

The Revenue Minister said that for the first time, a Gram Panchayat-level flood management plan has been prepared and GP level committees constituted for the purpose. “Inter-state coordination mechanism has been evolved with Maharashtra on water release from dams. The KSNDMC is providing basin-wise rainfall and run-off generated to the dam authorities as a support system for making decisions on release of water.”

RAINFALL FORECAST FOR NEXT THREE DAYS
The coastal region is likely to receive moderate to heavy rains with strong surface winds at most places; heavy to very heavy rains likely over Uttara Kannada, Udupi and DK districts

Malnad region is likely to receive moderate to heavy rain with strong surface winds at most places; heavy to very heavy rain likely over Shivamogga, Kodagu, Hassan and Chikkamagaluru districts

North-Interior Karnataka is likely to receive scattered to fairly widespread with light to moderate rain at a few places; heavy rain and strong surface winds likely over Belagavi district and light to moderate rains likely over Dharwad, Haveri and Kalaburagi districts

South-Interior Karnataka is likely to receive isolated to scattered light to moderate rains over Davanagere, Mysuru, Chamrajanagar; isolated light to moderate rains with strong surface winds likely over remaining districts

Scholar watches event on mobile
Belagavi: Following incessant rain lashing the Belagavi region for the past few days, scholar N R Vijayendra Sharma, who fixed the muhurta for the Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan, watched the ceremony on his mobile phone, sitting outside his flooded house in Jakkinhonda. 

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