Rain in Kodagu eases; focus on rehabilitation

Rain in Kodagu eases; focus on rehabilitation

A woman crosses a gaping crack in the Madikeri-Mangaluru road damaged by a landslide. DH Photo

With incessant rain that pounded Kodagu in the past few days showing some signs of subsiding, local residents and rescue personnel on Monday scrambled to bring life back to normalcy in the flood-ravaged district.

Rescue personnel had a tough time reaching out to interior and far-flung hamlets in the hilly areas where several people are still reported to have been trapped in floods. However, as many as 45 people were rescued from Makkenduru and Mukkodlu, which are some of the worst-hit areas in terms of flooding and landslides.

With connectivity still a problem since several roads remain blocked, the Kodagu district administration has also prepared the ground to deploy drones to look for survivors. A majority of roads connecting towns and villages are completely washed away, making it difficult to take relief to the needy.

Fear of more rain

The threat of further damage due to landslides or mudslides looms large, locals fear, as rains have not stopped and the possibility of high-intensity rain cannot be ruled out. Entire villages near Madikeri town such as Kallur and Paati have been ravaged due to landslides, with no trace of any human settlements that were there once.

The rescue operation, manned by a team of 1,194 personnel drawn from multiple agencies, is in its last leg thanks to the decrease in the intensity of rainfall. “Rescue teams are screening isolated villages in Jallapadu area,” Revenue department Principal Secretary (disaster management) Gangaram Baderiya said. 

The district administration cancelled hotel bookings made by tourists in the scenic hilly district till the end of this month. Several tourists were stuck in resorts and hotels ever since the disaster struck the district last week.

An official notification issued by the district deputy commissioner said bookings made by tourists in hotels, resorts and home stays had been cancelled till August 31. The measure has been taken for the safety of tourists, it added.

Experts to study geology

The government has decided to take the advice of experts from Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute to study the geology of various locations in Kodagu and also inspect dam structures in other flood-affected places in the state.

Experts on landslides from Himachal Pradesh will also arrive in Kodagu to provide guidance to relief operators. Engineers from Indian Army will help PWD and Madras Engineer Group to expedite road repair works.

The government will seek suitable relief from the Centre after gathering comprehensive information.

Meanwhile, the two national parties, the BJP and the Congress, announced relief to those affected due to floods in Kodagu.

The BJP stated that while all its MPs, MLAs and MLCs will donate their one-month salary, the KPCC announced that its elected representatives will be donate two-months’ salary for the floor relief.