13 Dead, 3,500 Rescued: Kodagu Continues to Battle Floods

13 Dead, 3,500 Rescued: Kodagu Continues to Battle Floods

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At least 13 people have been declared dead and thousands have been relocated in the Karnataka’s Kodagu district in the past week, as torrential rains wreaked havoc with flooding and landslides.

According to official figures, during the past seven days, Kodagu district has received 237 percent excess rainfall.

During this time of the year, the average weekly rainfall in Kodagu is 153 mm. But this time, in the last seven days, the district has received 535 mm of rain. This is unprecedented.
District Administration Official

The district administration also cancelled hotel bookings made by tourists in the hilly district till the end of August, reported PTI. Several tourists had been 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.

The water gates of the Harangi dam, located in the outskirts of the district, were opened on Saturday, 18 August, after the water levels reached the brim.

In Madikeri, the district headquarters, several shops were destroyed in a landslide. The old corporation building, a commercial centre that doubles up as a private bus terminal, was evacuated, fearing collapse.

A relief camp in Karnataka’s Kodagu. 
A relief camp in Karnataka’s Kodagu. 
(Photo: Arun Dev/The Quint)

Also Read : This Kodagu Town Turned Church, Temple & Madrasa into Rescue Camps

Over 3,500 People Rescued

Around 5 km from there, in Chamundheswari Nagar, a residential area, more than 20 houses were damaged in landslides and close to 300 residents from the area were evacuated to relief camps.

But most of the rescue work by the Army, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies has been focused on the outskirts of the district, where villages on the hilltops had been cut off.

From one such village, Mukkodlu, the Army rescued more than 200 people in the past two days. According to Army officials, their teams had to trek for over 30 km through coffee plantations and the forest, as the roads leading to the village were blocked off.

Also Read : Kodagu Family Treks for a Day Through Landslides to Escape Floods

According to MN Reddi, DGP and chief of Karnataka fire and emergency services, over 3,500 people have been rescued from Kodagu district. As many more are feared trapped, the police department will introduce a cell to track the missing persons, Reddi added.
Rescue operations in full flow in Karnataka’s Kodagu. 
Rescue operations in full flow in Karnataka’s Kodagu. 
(Photo: Arun Dev/The Quint)

The schools and colleges in the town have been given holidays, and the buildings are being used as rescue camps.

According to the district administration, the total number of rescue and relief camps is not known, as many volunteer groups have been setting up camps on their own. However, the deputy commissioner’s office has been diverting relief materials to different camps based on their requests, an official said.

The authorities hope that the rains will reduce in the next few days, so that they can shift their efforts from rescue to rehabilitation.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had undertaken aerial surveys 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.

Also Read : 12-Day-Old Baby Among 1,700 Evacuated in Rain-Hit Parts of K’taka

(With inputs from PTI)

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