With some areas in Dakshina Kannada witnessing heavy rainfall and rising water levels, the district administration and the National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) mounted a rescue operation in the coastal district. Former Union Minister and Congress leader Janardhan Poojary was also rescued from his home at Bantwal on Saturday morning.
According to the district authorities, the home of the 82-year-old, located at Bantwal mooda close to the Nethravathi river, was on the verge of being overrun. As per the last reading, the Nethravathi had risen to 8.4 meters near Bantwal, while the danger level is at 8.5 meters.
Officials at the Dakshina Kannada District Emergency service said that on receiving information about the octogenarian leader’s whereabouts, a team of NDRF, fire and rescue personnel was sent to lead Poojary and his family to safety.
“Given his age, the rescue team along with locals shifted the senior leader into an inflatable boat that was on standby and ferried him to safety,” emergency personnel said. Following his rescue, Poojary and his family is said to have proceeded to a relative’s house in Mangaluru, officials said.
A former MP from Dakshina Kannada, Janardhan Poojary served in various capacities in Congress-led union governments prior to 2000. Poojary is also the former president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).
Between Friday and Saturday, rescue officials said that over 300 people were rescued from flood-prone and affected areas, as they continued to be ravaged by the monsoon backed flooding.
A 34-year-old lost his life in the district on Saturday morning. The man, Razak, was wading through water by foot when he slipped into a water-clogged drain. Although a few passers-by successfully retrieved Razak, the doctors at the local hospital reported him dead on arrival. According to unofficial reports, that takes the death toll to four in the district on Friday and Saturday.
At Uppinangady, the Nethravathi river reached the danger level of 31.5 meters, but the Kumaradhara river at Uppinangady has breached its level from 26.0 metres to 26.5 metres. Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Senthil said that the residents close to the Nethravathi river have been asked to relocate to a safe zone.
For close to a week now, the district administration was told to be on ‘Red Alert’ due to the rains, and has declared holidays for anganwadis, primary schools and colleges. The daily rainfall reports released by the district administration on Saturday suggested that in Dakshina Kannada, Belthangady received the highest rainfall measuring 232.09 mm, followed by Puttur at 167.15 mm, Bantwal at 159.3 mm, Sullia at 146.75 mm and Mangaluru at 129.48 mm.
Meanwhile, the road to the district from Shiradi ghat has been shut till August 12 due to a landslide and traffic disruptions, and the traffic on the Sampaje ghat road has been subjected to regulation.
Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP.)