Rumours Kodasalli dam breach make villagers flee homes

Villagers fleeing after a dam burst rumour spread in Karwar taluk.

The villagers of Mallapur and Kadra in Karwar taluk on Thursday abandoned their villages braving rain, after rumours about the cracks in Kodasalli dam across Kali river flew thick and fast.

The dam has seen good inflows owing to incessant showers in its catchment. On Thursday, huge quantum of water was released downstream Kali river.

Unidentified people spread the rumours that the dam has developed cracks and may cave in any time soon. The locals, who’d not seen such unprecedented discharge from the dam, believed it. Braving heavy showers, the villagers fled their houses in panic, taking with them whatever they could lay their hands on.

The police officials and the dam authorities tried to convince the panic-stricken villagers that the dam is safe and secure. and that they should return to the villages. But the villagers were in no mood to listen to their pleas.

“We have been living here for the past 30 years. We have never seen such unprecedented outflow and flooding. Elderly persons, women and children have left the villages in wet weather. Officials keep claiming that nothing will happen. But we are in a state of fear. We don’t know what to do, where to go,” Ramesh, a resident of Mallapur poured out his woes to the reporters.

However, a few people returned home heeding to the officials, but many left for Joida town.

Uttara Kannada Deputy Commissioner Dr K Harishkumar urged the people not to heed rumours. “All reservoirs in Kali basin are safe. Strict legal action will be taken against those found spreading rumours,” he warned.

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