Bengaluru: The death toll continued to rise in Karnataka as heavy rain continued over various parts of the state on Friday. More casualties were reported on Friday taking the death toll to at least 16. Authorities are yet to provide a comprehensive death toll as are still collating the same. The northern district of Belagavi accounted for at least eight deaths while some reports indicated that there were deaths in Kodagu as well.
At least 205 animal lives were lost, over 876 villages affected, 259,753 hectares of crop lost and over 2.07 lakh people were evacuated from various parts of the state with rains continuing over most parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala among other parts of the country.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa undertook aerial surveys to gauge the extent of the damage caused by the rains, floods and landslides that have displaced thousands in the state. Heavy rain is expected to continue in some parts of the state while there is a possibility of it subsiding in other regions. The coffee growing regions of Kodagu and other parts of Malnad continued to receive heavy rainfall.
“The Western Ghats and Kodagu district are experiencing incessant rains and people are marooned. Valuable lives have been lost due to landslides which is extremely saddening. I request the citizens not to panic. The government is with you," Yediyurappa wrote on Twitter.
Kodagu, that had barely recovered from landslides and rainfall from last year, had to undergo the ordeal all over again--much like parts of Kerala.
Several districts of Kerala have reported heavy casualties after heavy rainfall and landslides.
Meanwhile, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) chaired a meeting on Friday presided by cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha to review the prevailing flood situation in the states of Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka.
According to the NCMC statement, as of now 55 teams of NDRF have been deployed in these states with 19 more expected to join rescue efforts. Apart from them, 16 columns of the Army, 30 rescue teams of the Navy and Coast Guard, along with helicopters, aircraft and boats, have been pressed into service, the NCMC said in its statement.
Several other state agencies are also involved in rescue efforts. The NCMC also directed the release of necessary advance from the state disaster response fund to the affected regions.
The weather authorities have placed north, coastal and south Karnataka and the Malnad region on red alert as these parts are expected to receive heavy rain.