Heavy rain lashes Karnataka: At least seven dead, yellow alert for coastal region; Section 144 imposed in beaches

The reservoirs in Krishna and Cauvery basin are yet to reach half of its storage capacity nearly a month after the onset of monsoon.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Jun 29, 2024 | 9:10 AM Updated Jun 29, 2024 | 9:10 AM

Heavy rain in Karnataka kills seven people; Yellow alert issued

At least seven people in Karnataka have lost their lives to incessant rainfall in the last 72 hours, with the state recording traditional rains since the beginning of the monsoon.

As the south-west monsoon picked up in the state, the Karnataka Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) has issued a yellow alert for all the three districts of the coastal region and cautioned heavy rains in Shivamogga and Belagavi.

Shockingly, all the seven deceased are the residents of Dakshina Kannada district. Apart from the loss of lives, hundreds of people have suffered damages to their houses due to heavy rain.

Meanwhile, the district administrations in Coastal and Malnad regions have identified the vulnerable areas of landslide and flooding as both the regions are mostly located in the midst of hilly areas. Amidst the heavy rains, the Dakshina Kannada district has opened a relief centre, where around 38 people have been accommodated.

In the other two districts in the coastal region, the district administrations have identified the relief centres and taken necessary measures to tackle the natural calamities.

Karnataka has received a traditional rainfall of 183mm against the normal rainfall of 182mm since 1 June, 2024. In the 14 reservoirs of Karnataka, only 206.25tmc water stored is against the maximum capacity of 895.62tmc by the end of June.

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Seven killed due to rains in Dakshina Kannada

In separate tragic incidents, at least seven people have died due to the monsoon-related havoc in the Dakshina Kannada district.

Among the deceased four are from the same family, two are autorickshaw drivers and another woman, claimed the district administration. It said, “Four people of the same family died due to wall collapse of a neighbour’s house in Ullal on 26 June. Two autorickshaw drivers were electrocuted after they came in contact with a damaged electric pole and a woman also died in Belthangady on 27 June.”

On the damages due to heavy rain, the district administration said, “A total of 245 houses have collapsed till date in the region. In the last 24 hours, 16 houses collapsed, where four are severely damaged and 12 are partially damaged. Six animals have died. A relief camp has been opened in Kadaba taluka. As many as 38 people have been accommodated.”

Similarly in Uttar Kannada, a total of 38 houses were damaged and two of them entirely collapsed. Kodagu recorded minor landslides, resulting in partial damage to houses. Meanwhile, Udupi has not reported any landslides but few of the houses have partially collapsed.

Kodagu DC Venkat Raja told South First: “The monsoon has just begun in the region. There are no casualties so far. The landslides were minor and have caused partial damages to the house in urban areas.”

“There is not even a single house fully damaged. We have prepared to face the monsoon,” stated DC Raja.

On anonymity, an official from Uttar Kannada district administration told South First: “As per the Geological Survey of India’s report, the district administration has identified 439 seats. The rain is heavy in those areas adjoining to the sea.”

“There was a landslide on the highway near Honnavar. There were no causalities or damages. Our team immediately swung into action and cleared the traffic. We have issued directives to the fishermen not to venture into sea for fishing until further orders,” added the official.

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Yellow alert issued for coastal Karnataka

As the South-West monsoon is picking up across the state, the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) issued a yellow alert to all the three districts in the Coastal region on Friday, 28 June.

According to KSNDMC: “Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts have been issued yellow alerts. The heavy rains coupled with thunderstorms and gusty winds around 55kmh is expected in the coastal region for the next 24 hours.”

“Fishermen are advised not to venture into the above sea areas for the next four days from 28 June. The Malnad region is expected to receive heavy rains in the next 24 hours. South and North Karnataka regions are likely to witness moderate rainfall. Heavy rains anticipated in Belagavi and Shivamogga districts,” cautioned KSNDMC.

For the last two days, the KSNDMC had issued a red alert to the coastal region and schools and colleges in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada had declared holiday.

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CrPC 144 imposed on all the beaches in Dakshina Kannada

As Coastal Karnataka is receiving heavy showers, Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Mullai Muhilan has imposed section 144 of the CrPC on all the beaches, restricting the public from venturing into beaches.

DC Mullai Muhilan told South First: “The district has been receiving heavy rains for the past few days. We have recorded 175mm of rain in the last 24 hours. The IMD had issued a red alert for the coastal region including Dakshina Kannada till Friday afternoon.”

“The rains were heavy in Ullal, Bantwal, Bajpe and Mangaluru City. The cities and towns adjoining to the sea have received heavy showers. We have declared a holiday for school and colleges on Saturday as well,” DC Muhilan elaborated.

Speaking about the casualties, DC Muhilan said: “Four people of the same family succumbed due to the house collapse, two were electrocuted and one more died of electric shock. Six seven people have died so far.”

However, he added that there was one more death, for which FIR has been filed and investigation is underway. “I have ordered for an investigation on another death in Belthangady. We have filed an FIR on this death. Several houses have also collapsed. We will provide them compensation as per the guidelines,” stated the Dakshina Kannada DC.

He continued: “As the rains are likely to intensify in the coming days, we have imposed section 144 of the CrPC on the entire beach stretch in the district. We have set-up a taskforce consisting of officials, elected members and locals at every Gram Panchayat. After several houses were either partially or fully collapsed, I have directed them to visit every house and carry out inspection.”

“Once they submit the report, we will take further decisions on relocating people residing in vulnerable houses and areas. We have also identified susceptible areas that are prone to floods in the region,” DC Muhilan said, adding that the district administration is on high alert and taking all precuationarymeasures.

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Karnataka receives traditional rainfall

In a sigh of relief to people of Karnataka, the state has received traditional rainfall of 183mm against the normal rain of 182mm since 1 June, 2024. South and North Karnataka received traditional rainfall, whereas the Coastal and Malnad regions have reported just below the traditional rainfall since the beginning of monsoon this year.

“South Karnataka has reported 112mm rainfall against the normal rainfall of 63mm. Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar, Tumakuru, Chikkaballapura and Ramangara have all recorded excess rainfall. qNorth Karnataka received 47 percent of excess rainfall so far, recording 141mm rain against the normal rainfall of 96mm. Ballari, Vijayapura, Koppal, and Bagalkot have reported excess rains,” according to the KSNDMC.

KSNDMC’s monthly monsoon report further read, “Malnad region has recorded 28 percent deficit rainfall till 28 June. The region received 233mm rain against the normal rainfall of 325mm. Hassan and Shivamogga have recorded moderate rains. Coastal Karnataka has reported 15 percent rain deficit this monsoon so far. The coastal districts have reported 639 mm rainfall against the normal rains of 751mm. All the three districts in the region have reported deficit rains.”

A total of 10 districts including Ballari, VijayapuraTumakuru, Kolar, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural have recorded excess rains and the districts of Haveri, Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru reported deficit rains.

In the last one week – Coastal, South and Malnad regions have recorded excess rainfall. However, North Karnataka has reported 53 percent rain deficit in the same period.

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Water levels in reservoirs yet to reach half the storage capacity

Nearly a month after the onset of South-West Monsoon in Karnataka, the reservoirs in Krishna and Cauvery basin are yet to reach half of its storage capacity. All the water reservoirs excluding Malaprabha have started receiving inflows and water is being discharged to rivers as well.

According to the KSNDMC: “In the 14 reservoirs of Karnataka, there is mere 206.25tmc water stored against the maximum capacity of 895.62tmc. There is mere 22 percent water storage in six reservoirs of Krishna basin. Almatti and Tungabhadra, which are the major reservoirs, have filled merely 27 percent and 5 percent, respectively.”

“A total of 422.45tmc of water can be stored in Krishna basin. Of the total water capacity, only 92.11tmc water is stored currently in the reservoirs. Narayanpura has the highest water storage with 64 percent,” said KSNDMC.

It further said: “Cauvery basin has a water storage of only 45.02tmc against the maximum storage capacity of 114.57tmc in four reservoirs. A total of 114.57tmc storage capacity is available in four reservoirs in Cauvery basin.”

“Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) dam has recorded water storage of 16.12 tmc against the maximum capacity of 49.45tmc. The reservoir has only 33 percent water stored. The remaining three dams Kabini, Harangi and Hemavathi have over 33 percent water stored,” claimed the KSNDMC.

(Edited by Neena)

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