BENGALURU/MADIKERI: Bringing back nightmarish memories of the devastating floods of July-August 2019, several parts of the state are again being battered by heavy rains, causing floods and triggering landslides. This time too, Kodagu is the worst hit with five persons, including a temple priest and his family members, going missing after a massive landslide swept them and their properties away, while a senior citizen died while crossing a river in Hassan district.
As rains continued over the last few days, many rivers are flowing above the danger levels, forcing people to move to safer places. Responding to the situation, which is turning grimmer by the day, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who is currently undergoing treatment in a private hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, directed ministers to visit rain-hit areas and supervise relief efforts. He has also assured of providing required financial assistance for those affected.
Revenue Minister R Ashoka and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai reviewed the situation with senior officers. In Kodagu, five people, including the chief priest of Talacauvery temple, Narayana Achar (70), his wife Shantha (70), brother Ananda Theertha Swami (87) and two assistants — Ravi Kiran (26) and Srinivas (30) — are missing after a massive landslide, originating at Brahmagiri Hills in Talacauvery, swept away two houses. Achar’s neighbour had shifted out of Bhagamandala earlier, fearing a landslide.
NDRF to resume rescue ops today
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had to stop rescue operations due to bad weather. Kodagu Deputy Commissioner C Annies K Joy said the operations will resume on Friday depending on weather conditions. “There are many minor landslides on the way to the spot,” the DC said, adding that the flood situation at Bhagamandala was not permitting earthmovers to reach the spot. Heavy rain between Wednesday and Thursday triggered landslides.
Bhagamandala Panchayat Development Officer Ashok said a notice was issued to the priest’s family to shift out of the house, but they chose to stay back. On Thursday morning, when the Talacauvery temple staff went to check on Narayana Achar, as he had not reached the temple for the daily puja, they found levelled land and debris where Achar’s house stood. Utensils, puja material and clothes were found nearly 2 km away at Cherangala.
In Hassan, Siddaiah (65) died while crossing the Yettinahole river near Sakleshpur on Wednesday. His body was found on Thursday. The Hemavathi river, the lifeline of Hassan and Tumakuru districts, was flowing above the danger mark near Sakleshpur and parts of Arkalgud taluk. The residents of low-lying areas on either side of the river were asked to move to safer places. The heavy rains and landslides are likely to disrupt movement of vehicles along the Shiradi Ghat on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru national highway.
Heavy rains in Western Ghats led to rivers overflowing in some parts of Belthangady taluk, snapping connectivity and causing minor landslides in Charmadi Ghat, while a wall collapse inside Pernem tunnel of Karwar region of Konkan Railway, forced the diversion of Mumbai-bound trains from Mangaluru at Madgaon. In Mysuru, due to heavy downpour in the catchment areas of Kapila, Lakshmana Theertha and Cauvery, water levels in the rivers continued to rise, triggering alerts in low-lying areas.
Authorities have been alerting villagers in Hunsur on public address systems, asking those on the banks of Lakshmana Theertha river to be on alert. A huge amount of water is being released into Krishna river and its tributaries from various dams of Maharashtra due to the massive rainfall in the catchment area on the interstate border. Standing crops on hundreds of acres of farmland across Belagavi’s outskirts and Nipani region have been destroyed.
- Kodagu recorded 6.97 inch (177.07 mm) rainfall from Wednesday 8.30 am to Thursday 8.30 am
- Kodagu received 51.13 inches (1298.78 mm) rainfall since January. Last year, the district received 40 inches (1016.13 mm) rainfall during the same period
- Dams are reaching maximum level in Dakshina Kannada. Water level in AMR Dam touched maximum level of 18.9m, and 8 gates were opened, while water level at Thumbe Dam reached 6.40mm, against the danger level of 7m
- Water level in the Nethravathi river touched 7.6m with the danger level at 8.5m in Bantwal
- High waves in the range of 3.5-5.7 metres predicted along coast from Mangaluru to Karwar