Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Saturday asked the Centre to declare the “unprecedented” rainfall and flood situation in Karnataka as a “national disaster” and release Rs 10,000 crore for relief measures.

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, he submitted details of the situation due to rainfall and floods in 14 districts of Northern Karnataka, and asked him to release Rs 10,000 crore for rehabilitation work.

He also asked him to release the first instalment of relief immediately.

Meanwhile, defence sources said the IAF stepped up its efforts in the flood-hit areas by engaging in distribution of relief material and rescuing those stranded.

Eight MI-8S and six Chetak helicopters were moved from the airbase in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, officials said.

The choppers, which have made around 60 sorties, have so far evacuated 50 persons to safer places and distributed around 22 tonnes of relief material.

Army personnel from the Maratha Light Infantry from Belgaum and Military Engineering Group and Centre from Bangalore continued to assist the civil administration in the relief and rescue operations, they said.

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