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Talacauvery temple chief priest among 5 missing after floods, landslides hit Karnataka

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Bengaluru, Aug 6: Five people including the priest at Talacauvery, the origin of river Cauvery, have gone missing due to massive landslide at Bramhagiri hills triggered by heavy rains in Kodagu district.

This is the third consecutive year that Kodagu is facing floods and landslides.

Talacauvery chief priest among 5 missing in Karnataka landslide

Rescue teams have reached the spot to carry out search and rescue operations, but heavy rains and local conditions are hampering it. According to Kodagu district administration officials, heavy rains at Talacauvery in Bhagamandala late last night led to landslips at Bramhagiri hills, in which two houses of the temple priests were buried.

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    As per the information provided by the rescue teams, one priest had vacated the house and shifted to Bhagamandala, while another was residing near the hills with his family, a release from the Kodagu Deputy Commissioner said.

    "The information received is that five people residing in one house are missing, they are priest Narayana Achar (about 80), his wife Shanta (about 70), his elder brother Anandateertha Swami (about 86 years) and two assistant priests Pavan and Ravi Kiran," it said.

    The district's Advanced Rescue team has reached the spot, it added. According to official sources, following land slides at the Brahmagiri hills last year, authorities had asked Achar to vacate the house. However, Achar, who was emotionally attached to the house, did not move out of it owing to lack of alternate arrangement nearby Talacauvery.

    As the priest did not reach the temple this morning, the staff had gone to his residence, only to find mud and debris from the landslide. Continues rains and landslide have snapped the road connectivity to the region. "... one will question whether any house existed there... nothing remains there," a local said.

    The DC's statement said heavy rains and mist had affected the operation, and it will be continued tomorrow. BJP MLA K G Bopaiah, who has had long association with Achar told media that he feared that the priest and his family might have been washed away in the landslide. This is the third consecutive year that the Kodagu is facing floods and landslides.

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