Downpour in coastal and south interior Karnataka; more rain predicted

Five persons were killed in flash floods as rain continued to lash coastal and south interior Karnataka on Thursday. Hundreds were evacuated from low-lying areas in Dakshina Kannada and districts in the Malnad region.

Mahabala Moolya (24) of Pararimane in Bantwal drowned in a canal in the early hours of Thursday. Kallandar (21), an electrician, was washed away in a stream near Harekala. Razak Ibrahim (20) and Izaz Aboobacker (19) from Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada were also washed away when they went to wash their feet in a river.

Zulfikar (33), riding a two-wheeler near Balehonnur in Chikmagalur district, was washed away in floods caused by a heavy downpour on Wednesday night.

Brace for more

During the last 24 hours, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga, Hassan, Chikmagalur and Kodagu received “widespread rainfall”, according to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC). The meteorological centre has forecast “very heavy to heavy rainfall” in coastal and south interior Karnataka in the next 48 hours.

Parts of Dakshina Kannada received “extremely heavy rainfall” on Thursday, according to the meteorological centre here. Subrahmanya received 45 cm and Dharmasthala 33 cm.

In Dakshina Kannada, people in areas such as Kallapu on the outskirts of Mangalore used boats to reach safe areas, while officials and Fire Services personnel evacuated people in other areas. Several houses collapsed and some bridges were damaged in the deluge. Officials have opened gruel centres at many places.

Several areas along the Netravati, which is in spate after incessant rain in its catchment areas for the last two days, were flooded. Its tributary, the Kumaradhara, is also flowing above the danger level.

In Hassan and Chikmagalur districts, normal life was affected in several parts. Low-lying areas, particularly in Sakaleshpur, Alur in Hassan district and Sringeri, Mudigere and N.R. Pura taluks in Chikmagalur district are inundated.

Following landslides at three places in the Western Ghats, trains connecting Yeshwantpur (Bangalore) and Kannur were cancelled on Wednesday night. The Railways cleared the tracks on Thursday.

In Shimoga district, the Tunga, the Bhadra, the Sharavati, the Varahi and the Varada continue to be in spate, though rain receded on Thursday. Road traffic between Shimoga and Tirthahalli was suspended for the second consecutive day.

The water-level in the Linganamakki and Bhadra reservoirs has increased by six feet each in a span of 24 hours. Though Mysore district received less than normal rainfall in three of the seven taluks, with copious rain in the neighbouring district of Kodaguthe inflow into the dams is encouraging.

As against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 124.8 ft at Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS), the water-level on Thursday was 93.3 ft (6 a.m. reading) while it was 73.8 ft during the corresponding period last year.