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Overnight rain pounds city

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Aug 16 2017, 3:37 IST

BBMP ignored Met dept warnings; 13 cm rain in four hours

A flooded street at S T Bed in Koramangala, after heavy rain lashed the city in the early hours of Tuesday. DH Photo

A flooded street at S T Bed in Koramangala, after heavy rain lashed the city in the early hours of Tuesday. DH Photo

Bengalureans were in for a shock on Tuesday morning when they woke up to flooded streets, uprooted trees and power outage.

The city was pounded by 13 cm rain in just four hours, from 3.35 am to 5.40 am and then from 5.45 am to 8.15 am on Tuesday, the highest in 24 hours for the month of August.

Madiwala, Bommanahalli, Koramangala, BTM Layout, Silk Board junction, Indiranagar, J P Nagar, H S R Layout, Tavarekere, Sarjapura Road, Eijipura, S T Bed, Manjunatha Nagar, HAL 2nd Stage, Wilson Garden and Anugraha layouts were the worst affected.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bengaluru Urban district administration were caught in a deep slumber, despite the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) warnings.

Till 8.30 pm on Tuesday, the city received 26.8 mm rainfall. According to the IMD, the showers resumed at 5.15 pm, and the rainfall is likely to continue for the next two days.

Sunder M Methri, director in-charge, IMD Bengaluru, told DH that a warning stating “moderate to heavy rainfall likely to affect your district within next three hours” was sent to all deputy commissioners at 2.20 pm, 5.41 pm, 8.30 pm, 12.10 am and 4.20 am.

“Though the forecast was for moderate to heavy, city and south interior Karnataka received very heavy rainfall in just four hours,” said Methri.

G S Srinivasa Reddy, Director, KSNDMC, said that they have an automated system where once the rainfall reaches a threshold of 50 mm in one hour, an automated warning alert goes to the officials.

“On Monday night, when the city received 12.5 mm rain within 15 minutes around
12 am, immediate warning alerts went out,” Reddy said.

Reddy said that the KSNDMC does not get a weather update from IMD; they collect the data independently.

While the KSNDMC said that they were not aware of the impending havoc till 10 pm, the IMD said that they had issued a warning of moderate to heavy rainfall.

Senior officials from both the departments said that it was a mere communication lapse.
“Had any one of the officials been truly dedicated, alert and concerned, people in low-lying areas could have been cordoned off and disaster averted.”

The IMD has issued a warning stating that Bengaluru and parts of south-interior Karnataka will continue to receive moderate to heavy rainfall.

“This will continue for the next two days,” Methri said.

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