Normal life thrown out of gear; Indian Meteorological Department forecasts heavy to very heavy rains till August 9
Madikeri: Similar to the pattern that began in 2018 and continued last year, Kodagu is receiving heavy to very heavy rainfall in August coupled with gusty winds. Rain has been pounding the district since the last four days and as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), it will continue to rain for the next four to five days due to the low pressure formation in peninsular India.
As a result of rains, River Cauvery, Harangi, Lakshmanatheertha, Kakkattupole and many other smaller rivers are in full spate. At some places like in Kushalnagar, water has entered residential areas. Heavy rainfall in Brahmagiri range has created a flood threat.
Triveni Sangama at Bhagamandala is full and river water is flowing on Napoklu-Bhagamandala Road in the district. Water level in Cauvery and Lakshmanatheertha have increased drastically. With Somwarpet, Garagandur, Madapura, Jamboor, Mukkodlu, Galibeedu receiving heavy rain, the inflow of water to Harangi has increased.
13,000 cusecs water from Harangi
Already 13,000 cusecs water has been released from Harangi Dam and there is a steady inflow of 7,186 cusecs. The release of water to the river is likely to increase and people living on the banks of river at Koodige and Kushalnagar have been asked to remain cautious.
The District received 106.12 mm of rainfall for the 24 hour period ending at 8.30 am on Tuesday and the District Administration has cautioned people in the low-lying areas to be cautious of rise in water levels.
Of the 104 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the district, 15 GPs have received rains in excess of 100 mm during the last 24 hours. Ballamavatti GP received 172 mm, the highest among the GPs. Bhagamandala GP and surrounding areas which are the catchment area of the Cauvery, received 170.5 mm of rainfall, the highest so far this monsoon.
Normal life out of gear
There are reports of trees being uprooted and the traffic on the Virajpet-Madikeri Highway was blocked for some time. Normal life has been thrown out of gear especially in rural areas with roads being blocked by overflowing rivers and rivulets. Most of the smaller bridges in the district are nearing its danger mark.
In Madikeri Taluk, in and around Kaloor village mud-mixed water is flowing into villages from hilly areas causing anxiety among villagers as in August 2018 and 2019, landslides had devastated the areas. Rivers like Kootupole, Kaloorpole and Hattihole are overflowing, threatening the human habitation and vegetation areas on the banks. Rivers passing through Thantipaala, Hattihole, Kondangeri, Kottamudi, Hodavada, Bethri, Kadanoor and Madapura have seen rapid rise in water flow levels and turbulence.
Bhagamandala and Triveni Sangama
Water level has also risen in Bhagamandala and Triveni Sangama — confluence of River Cauvery, Kannike and Sujyothi — with Naganakatte submerging. Even the steps leading to the Sangama are under water. Bhagamandala, Talacauvery, Korangala, Cherangala, Kolikadu and Ayyangeri have been receiving heavy rainfall. There is two-three feet water on the Bhagamandala Ayyangeri Road.
The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rains across the district till Aug. 9.
The incessant rains in Kodagu follows a long period of lull in July as a result of which the rainfall deficit stands at 36 per cent below normal for the monsoon period June 1 to August 4. Against a normal of 1,492 mm, the district so far has received 959 mm, according to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC).
Kodagu District Administration issued a communiqué as per which the rainfall has been uniform and widespread in the region. Madikeri Kasaba recorded 141.6 mm of rains, Napoklu received 131.1 mm, Sampaje (61.2), Bhagamandala (186.4), Srimangala (150.6), Shanthahalli (207.3), Kodlipet (135.8), Ponnampet (122.2) and Somwarpet Kasaba received 91.4 mm of rainfall during the 24 hour period ending 8.30 am on Tuesday. In case of any emergency related to floods people may call 1077 or WhatsApp number 8550001077 for assistance.
Landslides at Kathalekadu
Latest reports from Kodagu say that landslides might occur near Kathalekadu and the Siddapur-Madikeri Main Road is at risk as residents have seen mud rolling down the hilly areas. Authorities from Kadagadalu GP have asked people to avoid passing through Kathalekadu-Abbiyala Road. Napoklu-Bhagamandala Road is completely closed for traffic. Even Murnad-Napoklu Road is closed.
As per Kodagu District Agromet Unit (DAMU) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Gonikoppal, high wind speed is observed in Southern part of Kodagu and it is likely to continue till Aug. 6.
Many trees have been uprooted and as such most of the towns in South Kodagu including Gonikoppal, Ponnampet, Balele, Srimangala and Kanoor have no electricity since the last 24 hours. Authorities have advised the residents to avoid moving near trees or any weak structures.