Rain pounds Kodagu, normal life in disarray
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Rain pounds Kodagu, normal life in disarray

August 8, 2022
  • Landslides, tree falls wreak havoc; rivers, rivulets flowing above danger mark
  • Houses crumble and coffee saplings, seeds decay due to excess moisture 

Madikeri: Relentless rain in the last one week or so has caused extensive damage to roads connecting important commercial towns in Kodagu and normal life has been disrupted for the third consecutive day.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has sounded a red alert in the district and holidays have been declared for anganwadis and schools today. As many roads are blocked, transportation has been hit and buses are returning to their starting point before reaching their destination.

People are forced to walk amidst rain, crossing tree branches that have fallen on roads. Following gusty winds, trees have been uprooted and electricity poles have fallen, disrupting power supply. Repair and restoration work too has been hampered due to continuous downpour.

 Due to landslides, traffic movement has come to a halt on the Bhagamandala-Karike and Madikeri-Chettalli roads. The Bhagamandala-Karike road which is full of scenic waterfalls, where clear water flows on the road is witnessing a forceful flow of water, mud and sludge on the roads, blocking traffic. As it is a mountainous region, many new waterfalls have emerged.

Roads cut off

Due to the inundation of Bhagamandala-Madikeri Road at a couple of places, Bhagamandala is facing the threat of losing connectivity with Madikeri. The Madikeri-Napoklu Road has been blocked and many houses have collapsed in Karnangeri, M. Badaga, Chembu, Urubailu and Bhagamandala villages.

Even the Murnad-Napoklu, Napoklu-Cheriyaparambu and Napoklu-Kondangeri, Bhagamandala-Ayyangeri roads have been blocked as River Cauvery is flowing on the roads. River water has entered houses at Kottamudi, Hodavada, Kondangeri, Nelliahudikeri, Guhya and Karadigodu.

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The Forest Department and Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) staff are on their toes throughout the day to clear uprooted trees or electricity poles. MLA K.G. Bopaiah, who had come to supervise the road clearance work on the Bhagamandala-Karike road was stuck for more than two hours as his vehicle could not move due to landslides. He could resume his travel only after the debris was cleared.

Madikeri MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan visited the Hodavada-Napoklu link road. Late yesterday evening, the Madikeri-Chettalli Road was opened for traffic after the slush and debris were cleared. But heavy rains continue to lash, sparking fears  of more landslides. 

Virajpet MLA K.G. Bopaiah inspecting the clearance of fallen trees on Karike-Bhagamandala Road.

People shift from homes

River Cauvery has breached the danger level in Kushalnagar and more than 20,000 cusecs of water is being released at regular intervals from Harangi Reservoir to Harangi River. As a result, many areas in Kushalnagar like the Sai Layout have been inundated.

People were seen moving their household articles and valuables before the water level rises as there will be more water releases. They have taken shelter in the houses of relatives and many even have opted to stay in dormitories and religious institutions.

Coffee plants are rotting and coffee seeds have dropped from plants in many places due to sustained wet weather and continuous rains. Heavy seed droppings and sapling decay have been reported at estates in Birunani, Balele, Kutta and in Ponnampet. A part of a coffee estate owned by Chottangada Bose in Birunani has washed away due to a groundwater explosion. Only slush and uprooted plants remain here now.  

An excavator clearing fallen trees and debris on Chettalli Road.

Rainfall data in Kodagu and its 3 Taluks

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Madikeri kasaba recorded 83.0 mm of rainfall during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am today, Virajpet kasaba recorded 53.2 mm and Somwarpet kasaba recorded 108.0 mm. Napoklu received 140.2 mm, Sampaje 87.0 mm, Bhagamandala 182.2 mm, Ponnampet 86.2 mm and Shanthalli recorded 201 mm of rainfall.

Madikeri taluk recorded a total rainfall of 492.4 mm and an average rainfall of 123.1 mm, Virajpet taluk received 406.3 mm while the average rainfall was 67.71 mm and Somwarpet Taluk received 506.6 mm  rainfall and the average was 84.43 mm. The district average is 97.74 mm.

From January till now, Kodagu District recorded 2428.61 mm of rainfall while last year, during the same period, the taluk recorded 1,883.27 mm of rainfall. From January till now, Madikeri Taluk recorded 3,534.81 mm of rainfall while last year, during the same period, the taluk recorded 2,592.08 mm of rainfall.

Virajpet taluk recorded 3,534.81 mm of rainfall while last year, during the same period, the taluk recorded 2,592.08 mm of rainfall. From January till now, Somwarpet Taluk recorded 1,923.82 mm of rainfall while last year, during the same period, the taluk recorded 1,543.61 mm of rainfall.

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