Kodagu, one of the major hilly districts in Karnataka, is reeling under nature’s fury as it witnesses an unprecedented scale of destruction.
Over 2,000 personnel from the Army, Navy and NDRF along with state and other relief agencies work tirelessly to rescue victims but continuous heavy rains are making their task difficult.
Defence personnel has evacuated over 3,000 people. A group of villagers from Makkandur had been rescued by the agencies but the fact remains that they have lost everything. “There is nothing for us to go back to,” is the painful refrain.
The number of deaths is not yet confirmed but estimates that six people have died so far. All educational institutions, including anganwadis, remained closed on Friday. The district administration has declared holiday for schools and colleges till Saturday in view of the rains.
Meanwhile, the inflow into Harangi dam increased to 15,285 cusecs and the outflow was 11,911 cusecs, which would augment the volume of water reaching KRS in the downstream.
Incessant rains have been leading to massive landslides, impacting life and property even as the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre maintains that Kodagu received a rainfall of about 23 cm in the last 26 hours.
Continuous rains caused landslips at Jayapura in Koppa taluk, forcing local authorities to regulate traffic movement on the busy road connecting Chikkamagaluru to Koppa and Sringeri.
The land next to the road slipped more than 50 ft deep, causing anxiety among travellers. Officers of the Public Works Department visited the spot and decided to stop the movement of heavy vehicles on the road.
Already the 60 Dogra regiment soldiers and naval divers have managed to rescue nearly 900, a local TV channel reported. Hundreds of boats as well equipment needed for rescue is being used to reach the affected area.
The state government has announced a relief of Rs 2 lakh for those who have lost their homes and Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased. Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, has also conducted an aerial survey to gauge the situation besides visiting relief centres.
He has further asked officials of the Coffee Board to assess the loss suffered by the district, one of the main producing areas. In a related development, a fear of epidemic have surfaced with the need for paediatric medicine and allied health services becoming paramount. Health agencies are working round the clock for the requirement of drugs needed specially for the children.