3 more bodies found in Kodagu rubble

3 more bodies found in Kodagu rubble

People searching the site of a landslide at Hatti Hole in Kodagu district where a body was found on Wednesday. DH PHOTO/B H SHIVAKUMAR

Three bodies were recovered in flood-hit Kodagu on Wednesday, making it nine confirmed deaths ever since heavy rainfall and landslides wreaked havoc in the district over the past two weeks.

Rescue personnel found two bodies in Yemetalu and one in Katakeri, according to Kodagu superintendent of police Suman D Pennekar.

While two of them were identified as Leelavathi and her son Umesh — their bodies were found about two km away from the house that was washed away — the other body was identified as Pavan (33). The mother was a labourer while her son was an autorickshaw driver.

“The rescue operation will resume on Thursday until we are convinced,” Pennekar said. At least 16 persons are feared dead since August 14, but only nine bodies have been recovered so far.

In the 24 hours preceding Wednesday, Kodagu district received 13.2 mm rainfall, which authorities said was 30% less than normal. The decrease in the intensity of rainfall gave rescue personnel the leeway to screen each and every house wherever landslides have occurred. Authorities said 4,450 people had been rescued to safety.

A team of scientists from the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) found that there was no link between the landslides and the last-known earthquake reported in the district on July 9.

The state government also announced that a single-window system would be set up to issue a fresh set of documents to people who have been displaced. Documents will be issued either free of cost or at a nominal price without citizens having to register FIRs.

The KSRTC has arranged minibuses to ply from Sullia to Madikeri via Kerala to ensure connectivity.

Heavy Toll

Total deaths:16 of which 9 confirmed

Relief camps: 51

People under rehab: 6,996

Villages with no electricity: 15

Houses damaged: 1,118

Rescue personnel: 1,019

Persons rescued: 4,450

JCBs deployed: 70