Heavy rains across Western Ghats wreaks havoc in Karnataka

Incessant rainfall across the Western Ghats on Karnataka’s borders with Kerala, Maharashtra, and Goa on Thursday wreaked havoc by causing landslides, coastal erosion, collapse of houses and submerging bridges in Kodagu, Hassan, Mangaluru and Belagavi districts, impacting lives of the local people.

The swelling Malaprabha, Ghataprabha, Markendeya, and several other smaller rivers that come under Krishna river basin on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border, flooded several villages since Tuesday night.

Several streets, bridges and residential localities were submerged in Belagavi district, mainly in Saundatti, Ramdurg, Khanapur and Gokak. As many eight bridges across the Krishna were submerged in Athani, Nippani and Chikkodi talukas, cutting routes to various parts and throwing normal life out of gear in 16 villages.

Due to heavy rains, a dilapidated house in central business district area of Khade Bazar collapsed, triggering panic in the neighbourhoods. Even a car was washed away.

Traffic on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru highway was disrupted at Shiradi Ghat after a portion of a hill collapsed at Marnalli in Sakleshpur taluk in Hassan district on Thursday, police said.

Commuters travelling to Bengaluru from Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada district have been advised to take another route (Charmadi Ghat road) or any other alternative route to reach their respective destinations, they said.

The Sakleshpur police said that it will be difficult for heavy vehicles to move on Charmadi and Madikeri roads as their movement has been banned on that stretch.

“We are awaiting the official order from the Deputy Commissioner in this regard to give directions to these vehicles,” a police officer said.

In Udupi district, nearly 30 houses situated near Someshwara beach in Uchila of Udupi district were facing threat of being washed away in the sea due to coastal erosion.

According to local news channels reports, the locals stated that the sea was almost 250 metres away just five years ago. However, with each passing year, strong waves lapping up the land lead to coastal erosion at the shores.

In Kodagu district, the district administration has taken steps to evict occupants of seven houses situated under a hillock in Madikeri as the region is prone to landslides during the rainy season.