Rescue ops intensified in Kodagu

People walk across a bridge overflowing due to heavy monsoon rainfall, in Kodagu on Sunday, Aug 19, 2018. (PTI Photo)

The rescue operations in the flood-ravaged Karnataka's Kodagu were intensified on Monday even as the administration cancelled hotel bookings made by tourists in the scenic hilly district till the end of this month.

Torrential rains have wrecked havoc in the popular tourist destination bordering Kerala and nestled on the hills of the Western Ghats, with floods and landslides killing at least eight people and rendering hundreds homeless.

Several tourists were stuck in resorts and hotels ever since the disaster struck the district last week, with roads, including highways, suffering damage, making access to the region extremely difficult. Restoration of the damaged roads is on a war footing, official sources said.

Personnel of the army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies are involved in the ongoing rescue operations, where 3,500 people had been moved to safer places till Sunday, officials said.

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.

The district administration struggled to provide basic amenities to the people housed in the 30 relief camps. The deputy commissioner appealed to the donors to provide warm clothes, torch lights, candles, first-aid kits, candles, matchboxes, bed sheets, toothpaste and detergents, cooking oil, inner garments and mosquito repellents.

The Karnataka unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party announced that all its MPs, MLAs and MLCs would donate their one-month salary towards the relief work in Kodagu. In a statement, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, who had visited the area on Sunday, said he would take up with the Centre the need for comprehensive rehabilitation of the affected people.

Yeddyurappa said the damage caused in the region due to flood and landslides was some thing "beyond anybody's imagination". The BJP chief stressed on the need to assist those staying in relief camps in providing permanent place of stay, and also enable them to return to their homes as early as possible. "I have personally met those people who are living in relief centres. They have lost everything," he said, appealing to the people to donate generously.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had undertaken aerial survey of the affected areas in the last two days, while President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to him and assured all required assistance.

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Rescue ops intensified in Kodagu

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