Rescue operations continue amidst bad weather

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Bangalore, Sep 20: Armymen toiled round the clock to rescue more than 100 marooned people from over 100 inundated villages in nothern districts of Karnataka, even as the toll rose to 19.

Several villages were cut off as many roads were washed away and bridges submerged. Rescue operations were in full swing on the second day today even as the flood waters started receding. Soldiers of the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre carried out rescue operations throughout yesterday night.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa undertook an aerial survey of the flood-hit villages in Dharwad and Gadag districts.

More army personnel were pressed into these districts. Talking to the sources, Colonel Dasrath, amidst rescue operations said though there was a let up in the rains, flood levels remained high.

Several people were perched on treetops as their village Radder Naganur in Gadag district was under water, while several others took shelter on concrete structures.

''We rescued all of them this morning and are trying to reach worst affected Hole Alur and three other villages in Ron taluk. We will be getting our own boats with outboard motors from Bangalore'' he added.

According to top revenue department officials, the toll since Monday rose to 19 with the death of an eight-year-old boy, who was killed in a house collapse in Koppal district.

Heavy inflow was reported from Maharashtra into River Bhima, while Ghataprabha, Malaprabha and several minor rivers had touched the danger mark inundating villages and destroying standing crops.

Tungabhadra and Krishna threaten to inundate many villages along its course. The inflow into Narayanapur dam across Krishna in Gulbarga district was at 1.50 lakh cusecs, while the outflow was 1.70 lakh cusecs. Over 1.90 lakh cusecs of water was drained into Andhra Pradesh from Tungabhadra dam in Raichur district.

Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur, in his inaugural address said the southern states without wasting time should make concorted efforts regarding the issues for coordination and stopping of smuggling of sandalwood, poaching and trade in wild animals across the state borders. Coordination among all the government departments, including the police department of these states should also be enlisted for the purpose, he said.

Karnataka Forests Minister C Chennigappa emphasised the need for periodical interaction of officials of border states in chalking out and implementing effective management strategies.

He said it was difficult to protect valuable forests and wildlife and pass it over to the coming generation without inter-state coordination. In his reaction to the media on the proposal by his Tamil Nadu counterpart on setting up of the coordination cell in Chennai, Mr Chennigappa said Bangalore was an ideal place as it is located centrally in the southern region.


UNI

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