There seems to be no let-up to the monsoon mayhem in Karnataka, with the weather office sounding red alert as more heavy rains are forecast in he coastal, central and southern regions of the state in the coming week, an official said on Sunday.
"Red alert has been given as the forecast is heavy to very heavy rains in coastal, central and southern districts of the state over the next 4-5 days due to the southwest monsoon peaking and favourable conditions, including formation of thick clouds and strong wind movement," an official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) told IANS here.
The districts to be most affected are coastal districts of Dakshin Kannada and Udupi, Chikkamagluru, Hassan and Shivamogga in the central part of the state and Malnad and Kodagu in the south.
"Heavy rain also likely to occur in Belagavi, Dharwad and Haveri districts across the state's northwest region," said the official.
Torrential rains lashed all the four regions across the southern state on Sunday too, disrupting normal life, flooding more villages and towns and affecting movement of the people due to severe damage to roads and highways from landslides, fallen trees and overflowing water.
"Though the intensity of the rainfall subsided in the northwest region, water released from dams has inundated several areas in Belagavi and Bagalkot districts," said the official.
Rescue and relief operations continued to shift 2 lakh displaced people to 370 relief camps and 55,000 livestock from 245 villages in the worst-affected region.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah undertook an aerial survey of the northwest districts along with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and central ministers from the state Pralhad Joshi and Suresh Angadi and reviewed the situation, including rescue and relief works in the region.
"Record inflows into reservoirs are coordinated to prevent inundation of downstream areas. Their levels are adjusted to prevent flooding low-lying areas and people from surrounding villages have been evacuated before heavy discharge of rain water," added the official.
Joint rescue teams, comprising the Army, the State and National Disaster Response Forces and the state fire and emergency brigades have shifted 5.8 lakh people so far.
"Four Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers have been stationed at Belagavi, Bagalkot, Mysuru and Raichur to airlift stranded people, while one Indian Navy chopper has been deployed in Uttara Kannada," said a statement from the Chief Minister's Office.
Drinking water, food and other relief materials have been provided in 1,168 relief camps in 17 districts across the affected regions.
"The toll in rain and flood-related incidents has gone up to 40 till Sunday, with 14 missing. Of the 5.8 lakh people evacuated, 3,27,354 are staying in the relief camps in 80 taluks of the 17 districts," added the statement.
In the 22,028 villages affected, agriculture-cum-horticulture crop loss is estimated to be 4.20 lakh hectares, while the number of houses damaged is 28,325.