1,500 stranded in flood-hit Kodagu of Karnataka; CM visits affected areas

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Kodagu (Karnataka), Aug 18 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Saturday visited the flood-hit Kodagu district in the southern state, where hundreds are marooned in villages and towns due to heavy rains.

“At least 1,500 people are stranded in various parts of the district, but the rescue officials have not been able to reach them due to bad weather and landslides. Efforts are being made to rescue them,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here.

The Chief Minister earlier in the day held a meeting with district officials on the flood situation in Kodagu, and on heavy rains lashing coastal and south interior districts.

He made an aerial survey of the coffee-growing district, about 270km from the state capital Begaluru. THe district is one of the worst-hit districts in the southern state.A

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“The officials are trying to airlift people in the district, but the weather has not been very favourable,” the Chief Minister said.

Heavy rains, flooding and landslips in the district have claimed six lives so far, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.

The state has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those who lost their lives due to the rains.

The Chief Minister earlier announced Rs 200-crore fund to take up relief measures in the rain-hit districts.

Kumaraswamy, who also visited a relief camp in Madikeri in the hilly district in Western Ghats, told people that the state is taking up rescue and relief operations on a war-footing.

The water being released from Harangi reservoir in the district across Harangi river, one of Cauvery’s tributaries, has been flooding several towns and villages in the region.

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Over the last 24 hours, Madikeri received a very heavy rainfall measuring up to 30 cm, while the district received an average rain upto 16 cm, according to the weather office.

About 60 Dogra Regiment soldiers and 12 expert naval divers rescued 873 marooned people in the flood-hit district till Friday, where overnight heavy rains caused landslides and inundated low-lying areas at Makkanduru.

Another 525 personnel from the fire services, home guards and civil defence teams are working on the rescue operations in the district.

In all, 948 specialised rescuers from various state and central agencies are working in Kodagu district, a CMO statement said.

So far, more than 1,250 people have been rescued and shifted to about 30 relief camps set up across the district, the statement added.

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Heavy rains have also been lashing coastal districts of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada over the past few weeks.

The Bengaluru division of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts heavy rains will continue over the next two days in the coastal and south interior districts of the state, including Kodagu.

–IANS

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