368 mm rain in 6 hours brings Mangaluru down to its knees

368 mm rain in 6 hours brings Mangaluru down to its knees

A view of a totally damaged house at Anegundi in Mangaluru after rain lashed Mangaluru City on Tuesday. A total of 30 hosues were completely damaged in Mangaluru alone.

The Port City of Mangaluru received an unprecedented 368 mm rain in just six hours on Tuesday (average rainfall of 156.8 mm in DK district), two days ahead of the onset of monsoon expected on June 1. As a result, several parts of the city were marooned and there was no time to issue even a warning, said Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil.

Addressing reporters at his office here on Wednesday, he said that the high tide till 6 pm on Tuesday worsened the situation as there was no space for water flow.

Stating that he has formed a committee headed by MUDA Commissioner to check if there are any blockages in the two main (Raja) canals in the City (leading to Gurupur river (via Kottarachowki) and Nethravathi river (via Jeppu)), he said that the committee has been asked to submit its report within three days. Any encroachment, if found, will be cleared immediately, he said.

By 8 am on Wednesday morning, Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased who lost their life in rain-related mishaps. While Mohini (55) lost her life when the retaining wall of her house collapsed, Muktha Bai (80) lost her life after she drowned in her house when the rainwater entered her house.

Senthil also said that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy called him four times on Tuesday to enquire about the flood situation in the district and assured all help required to help the needy.

Senthil said that Dakshina Kannada district has suffered a loss of Rs 20.74 crore, in which the damage in Mangaluru alone is Rs 16 crore (roads - Rs 3 crore, bridges - Rs 1 crore, house/buildings - Rs 3.7 crore, electric poles - Rs 1.95 crore and other damages - Rs 7 crore).

While 35 houses have been fully damaged due to rain (30 in Mangaluru), 42 houses have been severely damaged and 483 houses have been marginally damaged in the district. “The compensation for the fully damaged houses will be given within two days,” he said and added that fully damaged and severely damaged houses in plain region will get Rs 95,100 and in hilly region those affected will get Rs 1,01,900. However, the relief for marginally damaged houses will be given after an assessment.

Appealing to people not to panic as normalcy has been restored in the district, he said that stagnated water was cleared by 8 pm on Tuesday itself, that is, within two hours of low tide. “Due to high tide till 6 pm, water flow was almost stopped and many low lying areas were marooned,” he said.

The NDRF team is also camping in the city and the district administration is ready to tackle any eventualities, he said.

DHO Dr Ramakrishna Rao appealed to members of the public to ensure that water does not stagnate anywhere in the city as it can give rise to diseases such as malaria, dengue and leptospirosis (rat fever).

Meanwhile the DC said that if any larvae/mosquito breeding site is found in any under-construction site in Mangaluru, licences of such buildings will be immediately cancelled.

Meanwhile, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel has put the rain related loss at Rs 100 crore and demanded that the state government release Rs 100 crore for rain damage relief works.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the affected areas on Wednesday, he blamed the state government and city corporation for the disaster. “Thousands of people suffered due to the lackadaisical attitude of the state government and city corporation,” he said.