Heavy rains wreak havoc in Uttar Kannada district


By Florine Roche

Karwar, Aug 11: Heavy rains in coastal regions of the state in the 7 days have caused havoc in several taluks of Uttara Kannada district due to the flooding of Kali and Gangavati rivers. People who are affected from areas like Kumta, Ankola, Kadwada, Kadra, Kinnara and Siddar and also from other taluks like Sirsi, Yellapur and Sidhapur have been evacuated and shifted to relief camps.

One of the worst affected taluks is Ankola where people bore the brunt of overflowing river Gangavali. In Shiroor village of Ankola several houses have been inundated and people were evacuated overnight through boats. About 1600 people of the 350 families of Halakki Vokkaliga community living in the area have left their homes and are sheltered in Ganji Kendras (shelter homes) at Government High School Shiroor. Another local family has been sheltering about 250 families affected by floods.

Some of the homes are flooded while many houses have been collapsed. For the last six days these flood affected people are waiting patiently for the water to recede. Many of them say that this is the first time they have faced such deluge in Ankola. These halakki families who are basically farmers and they have lost their paddy and other crops. Their once green fields today resemble like a big ocean. Some just burst into tears when they talk about their lost homes.

The district administration is facing many challenges in this rural area. The nodal officers who are in charge of different areas have a tough task on hand. On one hand they face severe shortage of basic facilities and on the other they have to face the wrath of the people who are agitated. There is severe shortage of basic facilities like clothes, bed sheets, blankets and zamkanas. There is no electricity as 21 electric poles have been uprooted here. The electricity board cannot undertake repair work in the prevailing circumstances. In the absence of power supply the relief centre has a gigantic problem of providing food especially at night. There is no mobile network in the area and that makes communication with officials difficult.

People are agitated because they say that top officials or even the media has ignored them completely leaving them to fend for themselves. Many of them said they have not changed their clothes or had bath in the last six days.

On NH 66 (formerly 17) there was a huge line of trucks and heavy vehicles parked on the roadside. Lorry and truck drivers also face a harrowing time as the road from Ankola to Hubli is closed due to landslides.

Similar situation is faced by people of Kadra, Kaiga Township, Kinnar and Siddar which are flooded due to the release of water from Kadra and Kodsalli dams. Kaiga Township was completely cut off and some employees were also held up inside the office. In Kinnara just a few kms from Kadwada Railway station about 800 families have been evacuated. Following the release of water from Kadra dam these people had to be evacuated in a short span of time. The zilla panchayat took the initiative to evacuate people using boats and shift them to relief camps.

Several homes in Kinnara are still flooded and people who moved to safer places with nothing but their clothes have lost their valuables. A few houses have been collapsed.

Though the floods have receded slightly today people do not want to take any chance. They pay a visit to their homes risking their lives walking in the knee length flood waters.

Despite the efforts by the district administration people of Kinnara are agitated and they have threatened block roads if top officials don’t come to visit their area and provide basic facilities.

It is not an easy task for the district administration handle the situation under the circumstances. But all the officials who are given charge of the various taluks have stationed themselves in the flood affected areas to oversee relief and rescue operations.

Even as these floods were causing havoc rumour mongers had a field day spreading false information about damage to Kodsalli and Kadra dam and also damage to Kaiga nuclear plant. There were also rumours of shortage of petrol and diesel and long queues could be seen in front of petrol bunks.

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Comment on this article

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangaluru

    Sun, Aug 11 2019

    Nation is with full of suicidal floods which is quite tough to face and restrict.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ajay Kumar, Karkala

    Sun, Aug 11 2019

    Our chief minister is in this region monitoring men and machinery involved in rescuing flood affected people. After so much disaster in kerala yet rahul wants to visit the region. What type of help will expect from such representatives where in first time waynaad worst affected.

    DisAgree [22] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

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