Bengaluru, Aug 21 (IANS) Relief operations were in full swing in Karnataka’s flood-hit Kodagu district as rains abated and life limped back to normal, an official said on Tuesday.
“We are concentrating on providing shelter and other relief to the people evacuated from towns and villages in the hilly areas flooded by rains and blocked by landslides,” Kodagu Deputy Commissioner P. Sreevidya told reporters at Madikeri, about 270 km from here.
Though rescue operations had slowed down as flood waters receded, the administration is using drones to look for people reported missing or stranded in remote areas or villages where landslips were witnessed.
“We are receiving huge quantities of relief material, especially food items, water, clothes, utensils, mats and tarpaulin from Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Udupi and other places in the state.
“Essential items, including medicines, have been rushed to 41 relief camps housing about 5,000 people,” said Sreevidya.
The administration has also rushed food grains and other provisions to towns and villages across the district as heavy rains and floods disrupted supplies over the last 10 days due to landslides and roadblocks.
“Besides state officials, hundreds of volunteers from non-government organisations are helping us in looking after those lodged in relief camps. It will take at least a week before they can return to their homes as restoration works are slow due to extensive damage caused by floodwaters,” the officer said.
According to initial estimates, the cumulative loss in the ravaged district is said to be about Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 crore due to heavy damage to infrastructure like roads, bridges, power lines, apart from houses and agricultural land.
According to the Indian Air Force (IAF), two MI-17 helicopters took off for relief work in Kodagu, operating from Kushalnagar, Periapatna and Harangi.
“Helicopters undertook aerial recce and rescue missions in flood-affected areas of Monnangeri and Jodupala to identify ground rescue in coordination with district officials,” the IAF training command said in a statement here.
The choppers were also used in airlifting essential supplies to the affected areas.
The district administration has also ordered hotels, resorts, homestays and guesthouses to cancel bookings till August 31 due to the havoc wrought by heavy rains in the hilly region.
Meanwhile, the state BJP unit has rushed 10 tonnes of food grains and other relief material to the affected in Kodagu in trucks from Bengaluru.
“Former BJP Deputy Chief Minister and city legislator R. Ashok accompanied the vehicles along with state unit General Secretary N. Ravi Kumar, Lok Sabha member from Bengaluru Central P.C. Mohan.