District admin warns action against rumour mongers

District admin warns action against rumour mongers

A house which collapsed during the flash floods last year, near Muttappa Temple in Madikeri.

The district administration has warned of initiating legal action against those who have been creating panic among people by spreading fake messages on the outbreak of natural disaster. 

Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy said that a few people with vested interests have been circulating messages on social media saying that there is a possibility of flash-floods and landslides this year too, which will be more serious in nature compared to the previous year.

“People should consider the warnings issued by the State Natural Disaster Monitoring Authority. The authority has not issued any warnings on flash floods this year. There is no need to panic,” she added.

“A retired geologist has given a statement in the media that the natural disaster will repeat in Kodagu this year too and it will be of a magnitude similar to that of Kerala floods. The retired official might have conducted a private study. He was not appointed by the government for conducting any study. If the forecast is issued by the official organisation, the district administration will carry out needful measures,” she said and added that serious action will be initiated against rumour mongers.

A retired senior geologist had stated in media recently that a natural disaster of a higher magnitude compared to the last year will take place in Uttara Kannada, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts. Following the prediction, residents of some layouts had vacated their houses.

The said geologist had analysed that as the top surface of the earth is totally damaged due to rains, silt is accumulated in streams and rivers, as a result of which, the floods will intensify this time.

State Natural Disaster Monitoring Authority Director Dr G S Srinivasa Reddy said that the so-called connection between a volcanic eruption in some part of the world and the disaster in Kodagu last year is not yet confirmed.

The rain which lashed Kodagu last year was a monsoon shower and not the aftermath effect of any volcanic activity, he added.

He meanwhile warned that the rumour mongers will be punished under section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, which includes one year imprisonment and fine. 

‘Report by month-end’

Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy said that a team of scientists from the Geological Survey of India, appointed by the government, for a study on the flash floods and landslides in Kodagu in 2018, will submit its final report to the government by the end of this month.

A preliminary report has been submitted by the team of scientists to the district administration two days ago. As per the report, six locations have been identified as sensitive regions. A warning has been issued to the people living in these regions and preparations have been taken up to ensure the safety of the people.

The team comprising of GSI Director K V Maruti, senior geologist Ankur Kumar Srivasthav and geologist Sunandan Basu had conducted a study in the places where landslides and flash flood had occurred.

As many as 39 villages in Madikeri and Somwarpet taluks were hit by the disaster last year.