With the southwest monsoon remaining active in Karnataka, heavy rains across various regions of the state wreaked havoc, flooding villages and towns and disrupting normal life, an official said on Wednesday.
“Schools and colleges will remain closed till August 10 due to forecast of heavy rains over the next 2-3 days across the state, flooding in many villages and towns in coastal, central and northwest districts of the state and affecting normal life and transport due to damage to roads and railway tracks,” the official told IANS here.
Though the monsoon played truant in June and remained less than average in July, it now gathered momentum and maintained its intensity to lash across coastal districts, south interior areas, Malnad region in the central parts and northwest region, bringing relief to the people from acute drought last year and enabling farmers to take up sowing operations.
“The worst affected districts where normal life, movement of vehicles, including buses, trucks and trains were disrupted due to flooding of roads, state and central highways and railway tracks were Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Uttar Kannada, Shivamogga, Belagavi, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Raichur and Vijayapura,” said the official.
On returning from a two-day trip to New Delhi, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa flew over the affected areas in the northwest region and reviewed the relief and rescue works with officials.
“Though I was in Delhi for official engagements and clearances for the state’s development projects, I had cut short the trip and rushed to assess the situation in the rain-hit districts and step-upA rescue and relief works,” the Chief Minister told reporters at Belagavi.
Release of heavy rain water from dams, reservoirs and catchment areas in south Maharashtra has turned tributaries and rivers like Krishna, Malaprabha and Ghatapraba into a spate, flooding villages on their banks and low-laying areas in towns across the region.
“As heavy rainfall in upper Krishna basin in the neighbouring Maharashtra is like to continue this week, more water from Almatti dam and reservoirs at Narayanpur, Raichur and Yadgir have been released to maintain the level below the danger mark,” said the official.
Release of rain water from reservoirs is coordinated to prevent inundation of downstream areas, and their levels are adjusted in order to prevent such a happening.
“Villages likely to be affected due to heavy discharge of water from Maharashtra have been identified for precautionary measures and evacuation in time,” added the official.
A total of 25,794 people were evacuated during the day by teams comprising fire and emergency brigade, State and National Disaster Response Forces and the Army from the affected villages and towns in the northwest districts.
Though the flood situation is under control, rain fury continued in the northern and coastal areas, throwing normal life out of gear.
As inter-state and intra-state bus services were affected due to heavy rains, people have been advised against travelling this week unless unavoidable for their safety and security.