Floods gone, people now grapple with vast devastation

Driftwood brought by the flash flood at Didupe. DH Photos / Govindraj Javali

The flash flood from Anadka falls has washed away 70 cents out of the total 80 cents land owned by Kempaiah Gowda at Bagidadi in Didupe. The sand accumulated in the lake on the farmland belonging to one Ravichandra in Oorje has deprived the family of their source of water.

These incidents are testimony to the devastation caused by flash flood resulting in massive landslides in the forest areas in the Western Ghats region where the falls originate.

The flash flood had affected Didupe, Oorje, Kudamanbailu, S M Tulpule, Aggapalu, Kajake, Malladapalu and Nandikadu.

Around 500 to 600 driftwood, brought down by the flash flood, have damaged a vented dam at Didupe. However, a few driftwood that got struck in the water prevented washing away of Raktheshwari Gudi (Temple) and a few houses in Didupe.

Speaking to DH, Umesh, a resident said the downpour from 1 pm to 5 pm on August 9 had resulted in the flash flood.

“The water from Kadamagundi waterfalls had inundated the bridge in Didupe, 15ft to 20ft in height, and the houses on the banks of the river. The flash flood brought huge amount of coarse sand and driftwood that were deposited in arecanut plantations and paddy fields. Even huge boulders and pebbles have been washed ashore,” Umesh added.

Silt cleared

After the flood receded, the houses were covered in 5 ft to six ft deep silt. The silt was cleared by members of various organisations.

Explaining the damage, Abdul Rehman said, “My mud house is not conducive for living. One or two showers will result in the collapse of the house. All the valuables and goods inside the house were washed away. A few houses in the vicinity have already developed cracks.”

Ravichandra said water from Anadka falls that flows into Oorji had washed away a road. As water had entered the kitchen, vessels were filled with sand.

“A few driftwood, that got accumulated, saved our house by blocking the flow of water. The lake, which was our source of water, is filled with sand now. We had to literally hold the pumpset which otherwise would have washed away in the river.”

Mobile tower, a blessing

More than 100 electricity poles were uprooted in Malavanthige gram panchayat and had disrupted power supply in the region.

Disruption in power supply had affected BSNL tower in the area. To make the tower functional, Tahsildar had given 75 litres of diesel and a donor had given 25 litres of diesel for the generator to operate.

The power from the generator at excise-cum-post office is also used for charging mobile phones.

At least 400 mobilephones are charged at this office daily, said Anand Gowda, a resident.

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