Rain continues to batter Kodagu, claims 4 lives

Rain continues to batter Kodagu, claims 4 lives

Several hillocks have caved in, but non-stop rain is hampering rescue operations. (DH Photo)

Kodagu district is virtually under siege as heavy rain continued to batter the coffee bowl of the state. Incessant rain claimed four lives on Friday.

Several hillocks have caved in, but non-stop rain is hampering rescue operations. More than 600 people are waiting to be airlifted, but helicopters could not reach Kodagu on Friday due to inclement weather. Some are feared to be buried under soil or washed away in floods. The airlifting operations are likely to begin on Saturday morning from Mysuru, using M17 chopper.

According to the district administration, 873 people were brought to safety by 5.30 pm on Friday. Multiple agencies such as the army, navy, civil defence, IAF and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are involved in the rescue operations. Teams of officials from revenue, health, food and civil supplies departments are camping in vulnerable villages for providing necessary assistance. The services of HAM operators are also being utilised.

A 62-year-old man was buried alive in his house in a landslide at Muvattoklu village under Madapur gram panchayat of Somwarpet taluk. The deceased has been identified as Uttappa alias Sabu. His wife, who noticed the land caving in, alerted Uttappa, but he couldn’t rush out in time.

Three were feared dead following a massive landslide at Jodupala in Sampaje, bordering Dakshina Kannada district. Minister U T Khader and Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil rushed to the spot and rescued 180 people. Superintendent of Police Ravikanthe Gowda said one body has been recovered and two more are yet to be retrieved.

Villages disappear

Several villages have virtually disappeared in and around Makkandoor following landslides. Kotebetta at Somwarpet taluk, too, has started caving in, raising concerns. There were reports of landslides on Madikeri-Mangaluru road and Mysuru-Bantwal road, hampering movement of vehicles. The KSRTC has suspended services from Mysuru to Kodagu. All buses to Kodagu are terminating at Kushalnagar.

The district witnessed more landslides due to overnight rainfall, inundating low-lying areas. All major roads leading to Kodagu are blocked.

Revenue Minister R V Deshpande, District-in-Charge Minister Sa Ra Mahesh, District in Charge Secretary Kalpana and other senior officials are camping in the district and overseeing rescue operations.

Telephone services have been hit and only BSNL network is functional. A large number of villages are in the dark as thousands of electricity poles have been uprooted.

Kushalnagar town is partially submerged. As many as 296 houses and two anganwadi centres are under water. Madikeri-Hassan state highway is under water following release of huge quantity of water from Harangi reservoir. The hanging bridge at Kanive Ramalingeshwara temple, where Cauvery and Harangi rivers meet, has been damaged.