Karnataka to shift flood-hit people to safer places

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Bengaluru : With heavy rains upto 25 cm lashing coastal and south interior districts of Karnataka, the state is working to shift people stranded in flood-hit regions, an official statement said on Thursday.

"Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has discussed with the Air Force officials to rescue people stranded in the districts of Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Hassan, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru and shift them to safety," a statement from the Chief Minister's Office said.

People living in Hattihole in Kodagu district, about 270 km southwest of here, which has been receiving very heavy rains, will be shifted to safer places soon, the statement said.

"The Chief Minister has directed the district officials to respond to people affected by the rains and open safety shelters if required," it added.

Over the last 24 hours, parts of Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts received extremely heavy rains measuring beyond 24 cm, according to a weather advisory from the Bengaluru division of India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Coastal districts of Udupi received heavy rains upto 11 cm, Uttara Kannada 17 cm, south interior districts of Shivamogga 20 cm and Chikkamagaluru 6 cm.

Districts in the northern part of the state, which have been facing a rainfall deficit, have also received light to moderate rainfall.

Due to the heavy rains, landslides were reported since early this week in several parts of the state, particularly on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru route, leading to several state-run buses and trains suspending their services on rain-affected routes.

The state-run Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has suspended its operations from Bengaluru towards Mangaluru and Kerala, due to landslides, heavy rains and flooded roads, a statement said.

A total of six trains including Karwar-Yesvantpur Express, Yesvantpur-Mangalore Junction Express, were partially cancelled and a few other trains were diverted since Tuesday due to the landslides, the South Western Railway said in a statement.

With the state's reservoirs in the Cauvery basin being filled to their maximum capacity during bountiful rains over the last two months, the incessant rains have been causing the rivers to overflow.

In the Cauvery basin, water from the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) reservoir across Cauvery river in Mandya district, Kabini reservoir in Mysuru districtAacross Kabini river, one of the major tributaries of Cauvery, is being released over the past few days, flooding the nearby towns and villages.

Over 1.2 lakh cusecs of rainwater was released as of Wednesday evening from KRS reservoir, 50,000 cusecs from Kabini reservoir, 15,000 cusecs from Harangi reservoir across Harangi river (tributary of Cauvery) in Kodagu district and 12,000 cusecs from Hemavati reservoir across Hemavati river (tributary of Cauvery) in Hassan district, officials said.

The Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority has warned the coastal and south interior districts to be braced for heavy rains for the next four days.

District officials in coastal and southern part of the state have formed teams prepared with lifejackets, boats and other equipment to undertake rescue operations when required.

Due to high waves and heavy winds, the IMD has asked the fishermen to avoid venturing into the Arabian Sea.

"Fishermen are advised not to venture into the Arabian sea over Karnataka coast, north Kerala coastal and over Lakshwadeep area," it said.