At least three people were killed on Monday as heavy rain pounded north Karnataka, triggering floods for the second time this year in the region which is yet to recover from the devastating August blow.
There were dramatic scenes in Haveri, where 35 passengers were rescued from a bus caught in floodwaters. The private bus, proceeding from Bengaluru to Gadag, was stranded below a railway underbridge near Savanur.
Fire and Emergency Services, who rushed to the spot, rescued passengers from the bus using boats. In Hirekerur, tragedy struck a poultry farm as 1,500 chickens were killed after rainwater entered the farm.
The World Heritage Site of Hampi, which was submerged in August this year, is in peril again with River Tungabhadra in spate. Close to 60,000 cusecs of water is being released from the Tungabhadra dam in Hosapete, forcing authorities to issue a red alert for villages on the banks of the river.
Belagavi district, badly battered in August floods, is staring at more grim news, with several villages marooned and roads under water. Incessant rain in the catchment areas of River Krishna in neighbouring Maharashtra is keeping people and authorities on tenterhooks.
The North-Western Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation has suspended operations on the Ramadurga-Belagavi Road as most of the route is under water. The Ramadurga bus stand has also been inundated.
A KSRTC bus proceeding to Panagatti from Belagavi was trapped near Vantamuri in Hukkeri taluk after the road caved in. “However, there were no casualties as the passengers managed to alight from the bus,” NWKSRTC divisional controller Mahadevappa Munji told DH.
Close to 1,71,000 cusecs of water is being released into River Krishna from the Narayanapura reservoir in Raichur district, leading to floods in the villages on the banks of the river.
There were also reports of heavy rain in Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts. Talacauvery, Bhagamandala, Napoklu were lashed by heavy rain for more than an hour.
Meteorologists at the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) said October had already received excess rainfall.
“While 50 mm to 100 mm rainfall is normal in October, a few of the places have received up to 150 to 160 mm rainfall. In Dharwad and Davangere districts, there was rainfall of up to 50 to 60 mm in the last two days,” said Dr G S Srinivasa Reddy, Director of KSNDMC.
The IMD has forecasted heavy rain right through this week for most of the state.