N Karnataka in deluge

Natures fury leaves 55 dead in 11 districts of the region

N Karnataka in deluge


The unabated rain from September 29 to October 1 in these districts has left 55 people dead, washing away livestock and damaging as many as 20,624 houses, according to information available with the Revenue Department. On an average, these districts received 7 to 8 times more rain.

The meteorological department officials said the State was receiving heavy to very heavy rain, thanks to low pressure in coastal Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and the Kerala coast. The State will continue to receive rains over the next 48 hours.

While Bijapur reported 17 deaths in the last three days, 4,388 houses were partially or fully damaged in Bagalkot, with the district receiving 148 mm rain against the average of 16 mm. The situation in Koppal is no better with the district receiving more than eight times the average rain.

Meanwhile, fire service officials rescued people stranded at four places in Sindagi and Indi taluks of Bijapur district. With the villages turning islands overnight, several people virtually struggled to survive.

Dr H V Parshwanath, Secretary, Disaster Management, said while about 19 people were rescued in Hangarahalli and Hoovinahalli of Sindagi taluk, efforts were on to evacuate 12 people in Arjunaganahalli.

He said the crest gates of the Almatti and Narayanpura dams in Bijapur would be opened on Thursday night. “There could be floods in the downstreams of these dams due to the swelling of River Krishna. Flood warning has been issued in villages of Raichur district, and people of seven villages have been rehabilitated,” the secretary said.

He further said the government had opened 15 relief camps in 11 districts.
Temporary sheds have been erected. As many as nine camps have been opened in Bagalkot alone. Dr Parshwanath said the deputy commissioners of 11 districts – Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gadag, Haveri, Dharwad, Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Koppal and Bellary – had taken steps to tackle the aftermath of rain. A relief of Rs 1 lakh will be extended to the next of kin of those killed in house collapse and other incidents under the Calamity Relief Fund. The deputy commissioners have Rs 200 crore at their disposal to take up relief measures, and thankfully there is no shortage of funds.

Heavy rain is likely in almost all parts of the State, especially north Karnataka, in the next two days, according to the meteorological department.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, speaking to reporters in Suttur, said relief operations were continuing on a war-footing in the flood-affected areas.
Yeddyurappa, along with his cabinet colleagues, is camping in Suttur for the ‘Sahachintana’ programme of the BJP.

He said ministers Basavaraj Bommai, Govind Karjola and Lakshman Savadi were directed to visit the flood-hit areas, adding that he had held discussions on relief measures with the ministers of districts concerned. “The State has enough funds to meet the situation. We will not wait for any help from the Centre. But, we will send a report to the Centre”, the CM said.

Revenue Minister Karunakara Reddy wanted the Centre to send a team to assess the damage at the earliest. “Earlier when the State was facing severe drought the Central team visited too late and it could not feel the severity. The Centre should not repeat the mistake this time", he said.

Meanwhile, fishermen in Udupi district have been warned not to venture into deep sea fishing in the wake of the tsunami that rattled the Pacific island nations.
“Warning has been sent to all fishermen’s associations. Fishermen have been directed not to venture into the sea from Hejamady, Malpe, Gangolli, Hangarakatte, Kodi Bengre, Shirur,” said Harish Kumar, Assistant Director, Ports.

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