At least nine people have died as torrential rains continue to play havoc in the coastal and Malnad regions in Karnataka.
Floods and landslides cut off access to several villages in Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada districts. Dongri, Shirur, Gangavali, Bilehoingi and Belse villages in Ankola have been inundated.
Relief operations have been expedited with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Coast Guards, Air Force and state authorities all engaged in rescuing people.
Close to 17,000 people have been affected by the rains in Karnataka and at least 8,733 have been evacuated from 131 villages in districts like Uttara Kannada, Belagavi, Haveri, Dharwad, Shivamogga and Chikkamagluru. More than 60% of the rescued people have been accommodated in relief camps set up by the respective district administrations.
While Thirthahalli in Shivamogga received the highest rainfall on July 23 (355mm), Dongri in Ankola, Itguli in Sirsi and Castlerock in Supa received 460-540mm of rain on a single day on July 22, as per the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) report.
Almost 65 bridges in the low-lying areas have submerged in the Krishna river basin area and more than 15 school buildings have partially collapsed due to the torrential rains.
The floods have damaged state highways across Kodagu district, Mangaluru and Karwar belt.
Nagar Naik, a panchayat member from Anageri in Ankola, said several houses in the surrounding villages have submerged. Naik said he is worried that he would not be able to attend the Karnataka State Eligibility Test for assistant professorship, which is likely to be held on Sunday (July 25). “The roads between Ankola and Hubli-Dharwad are cut off. I don’t think I will be able to reach the exam centre on time. We appeal to the concerned officials to postpone the exam,” he said.
Prof G Hemantha Kumar, Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of KSET, told The Federal that they may not be able to cancel or postpone the exam as it’s already been delayed twice due to pandemic.
“About 85,000 candidates will attend the exam and observers have reached the centres from Delhi. If the affected students send us a representation over email, we will look into it and make some considerations to separately re-conduct exams for them,” Kumar said.
The incessant rains have caused disruption in vehicular movement on two major ghats — Shirdi ghat and Charmadi ghat — that connect Dakshina Kannada with the rest of the State.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy rains in Udupi, Mangalore, Karwar, Chikmagalur, Shivamogga and Hassan districts for five more days. A red alert has already been sounded across the state.
Karnataka as a whole has received 25% excess rains so far during the south-west monsoon season. Districts like Bagalkote, Dharwad, Koppal and Kalaburagi received rains in excess of 80% than average rainfall for the period over the last 10 years.
G S Patil, Director of IMD, Bengaluru, said while the offshore trough spread over the peninsular region from Maharashtra to the Kerala coast resulted in widespread rainfall, he sounded a red alert for coastal districts in Karnataka till July 27, post which, a similar spell of intermittent rainfall is likely in southern and northern parts of the state.