Flash flood damages farmland in Pharlani

Hundreds of arecanut trees were washed away in the flash flood at Pharlani, Belthangady taluk.

Collapsed and partially damaged houses, flooded arecanut groves buried under heaps of silt and a washed away bridge are a testimony to the devastating floods in Pharlani village in Belthangady about 70-km away from Mangaluru.

The swelling of the Mrithyunjaya stream (a tributary of River Nethravathi) has triggered massive landslides and washed away a bridge at Pharlani village. Even after floodwaters receded, normalcy is yet to return here. Truckloads of sand bury farms in Pharlani, Kolamne, Antara, Aranyapade in Charmadi Gram Panchayat jurisdiction.

Ramananda, a victim of the flash flood, said that his arecanut grove was completely destroyed. Many such arecanut plantations and houses are damaged at Pharlani.

The house of Kittu Gowda was completely damaged. The house of Babu Poojary and Devappa Poojary is partially damaged. The people in the houses at Pharlani heard a massive sound caused by landslides at 11 am on August 9.

By 2.30 pm, there was a massive landslide resulting in flash-floods. The driftwood choked the flow of water near the bridge and inundated the entire area located on the banks of Mrithyunjaya stream. Driftwood that came along with the flash flood is now lying on the banks of the stream.

“I have lost at least 150 arecanut trees and nine coconut trees. Luckily my house was saved,” Ramananda sighed in relief. Arecanut trees and destroyed harvest are on the wet ground.  

At least 400-acres of farmland around Pharlani are covered by sand, thus making it unfit for cultivation. The authorities started clearing the sand on the road near the bridge.

Families in five houses fled to safety when they saw flash floods nearing them. As a result, there was no loss of lives, said another victim.

Kittu Gowda, whose house was damaged completely, has constructed a new house. The new house is also filled with silt, making it impossible to live there. The authorities used a wooden ladder to help residents move to the other side of the bridge.

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