Madikeri: Monsoon has begun in Kodagu and it has been raining in the district since the last 48 hours, prompting the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to declare an Orange Alert till tomorrow morning.
Rains are accompanied by gusty winds and at many places, normal life has been thrown out of gear.
The IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy rains in some places and extremely heavy rains at isolated places.
It rained in Mysuru too today morning catching office-goers unawares.
Though there are no reports of widespread damages in Kodagu, electricity poles have fallen on many roads and there have been reports of tree falls owing to strong winds, disrupting power and telephone lines.
Water levels in rivers are rising and River Cauvery has swollen at Siddapura, Kondangeri and Karadigodu and the water is continuously flowing to the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam in Mandya district.
Heavy rains have been reported at Madikeri, Suntikoppa, Seventh Hosakote, Ponnampet, Srimangala, Birunani, Kakkabbe, Bhagamandala, Talacauvery and Madapura.
The water level at Triveni Sangama in Bhagamandala has increased considerably following rain in catchment areas. If rain continues, the Sangama is likely to be submerged in a day or two.
Several trees have fallen on power lines in Seventh Hosakote, Kambibane, Maluru, Mattikadu, Mayamudi and Birunani. A roof of a house in Madenadu near Madikeri was lifted off by strong winds and has crashed in a nearby coffee estate.
As per the rainfall details issued by the District Administration at 8 am this morning, Madikeri Taluk has received 62.7 mm in the last 24 hours with 90.4 mm rain in Bhagamandala, 39.5 in Sampaje, 59.2 in Napoklu and 61.2 mm in Madikeri. Virajpet Taluk has received 26.83 mm and Somwarpet Taluk received 42.4 mm.
The combined average of the three Taluks is 43.93 mm. In all, Madikeri Taluk received 250.3 mm rainfall from January this year till date, Virajpet got 161 mm and Somwarpet Taluk recorded 254.4 mm rainfall.
The Kodagu District Administration has already deployed National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) along with State Disaster Response Force in vulnerable areas and has tasked them with vacating people from low-lying areas and those living in hilly regions that are prone to landslides. There are over 771 families that have to be shifted from dangerous areas in Madikeri Taluk, 381 from Madikeri Town.
In Ponnampet Taluk, 192 families have to be shifted to safer areas and over 347 people have to be relocated from Kushalnagar Town and over 700 families have to be moved out from Somwarpet Taluk. In all, over 10,522 people from 2,878 families across the district have to be relocated and 77 places including schools and other Government buildings have been identified to set up relief centres that have food, shelter and sanitation facilities.
Respective Panchayat Development Officers have given notices to these family members asking them to move out of their homes and come to the relief centres. Nineteen roads and bridges have been identified as vulnerable. The rain will intensify in the coming days and the administration is geared up for any eventuality, said officers.