Bengaluru, Aug 7 (IANS) Rescue and relief efforts have been stepped up as torrential rains, heavy winds and flash floods wreak havoc across Karnataka, an official said on Friday.
“On Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s directions to state chief secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, emergency measures have been taken to step-up rescue and relief works in rain-cum-flood hit districts across the state,” an official of the state disaster management centre official told IANS here.
Taking stock of the grim situation in the affected districts, the chief minister told Bhaskar not to wait for his approval in deciding on rescue and relief measures, as he is under treatment in a private hospital after testing Covid-19 positive on August 2.
“The chief minister also spoke to Kodagu district in-charge minister V. Somanna on the search operation to locate the five persons missing after their house collapsed in the landslide on the Brahmagiri sloppy hill following landslide on Wednesday night.
“The missing persons, including an octogenarian priest, his wife and brother are feared buried alive in the collapsed house due to the landslide on the sloppy hill,” the official said quoting police.
Heavy rains, gusty winds and poor visibility have been hampering the search operation, as the approach road in the ghat section is blocked with boulders and mounds of mud after the landslide.
Incessant rains and flash floods have also affected rescue and relief works at Talakaveri and Bhagamandala in the district.
With southwest monsoon intensifying and advancing in the southern state, heavy downpour continued to disrupt normal life, as roads, bridges, farms and low-laying areas were overflowing with flood waters in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Chikkamagluru, Hassan, Haveri, Belagavi and Bagalkot districts across the coastal, central and northern regions of the state.
“The water-level in the Cauvery river at Bhagamandala continued to rise and flood water entered the Bhagandeshwara temple on its banks. With rise in water-level, low-lying areas in the district are under the threat of inundation,” said the official.
The Madikeri-Mangaluru National Highway 275 has caved in near Jodupala.
With over 14,000 cusecs let into the Cauvery river from the Harangi dam, water entered houses in the low-lying areas of Ramanathapura in Arkalgud taluk in Hassan district where heavy rains have been lashing over the last 3-4 days.
Rain water inflows into the Krishna river and its tributaries resulted in flash floods on its banks in Chikkodi taluk of Belagavi district in the northern region.
Heavy rains also caused landslides in the Western Ghats, blocking the railway track between Castlerock-Karanjali stations in the South Western Railways. Efforts are on to clear the track to restore the rail traffic.
Inflow into the Almatti dam in Bagalkote district increased following copious rainfall in the Krishna river basin across southern Maharashtra and the state’s northern districts.
Water level in the Almatti dam has touched 517.96 metres against its full storage capacity of 519.60 metres.
Meanwhile, a house at Seegehatti in Shivamogga collapsed partially due to heavy rains in the Malnad region over the last four days.
Shivamogga district in-charge minister K.S. Eshwarappa visited the city and directed the officials to shift the affected residents to safer places as the Tunga river was overflowing after excess rain water was released from its dam at Gajanur in the district.