Two months after reeling from intense flooding, several districts in north Karnataka witnessed floods on Monday. Heavy rains have lashed Dharwad, Hubballi, Belagavi, Haveri and Davangere since Sunday night.
A 13-year-old boy was washed away in a canal in Haveri district’s Hirekerur Town. Soheb Ranebennur, the class 7 student from Hirekerur’s Azadnagar, had gone to the canal located near the district’s Durgamba Lake to watch the water flow. Officials suspect Soheb slipped into the canal due to the force of the water and is believed to have been washed away. Hirekerur Town Police told TNM that one fire engine and a team of 10 fire fighters are currently looking for Soheb’s body.
Rescue operation on for Soheb in Haveri district
“Soheb told his father Ismail Ranebennur that he was leaving home. His parents assumed that he was going to school. The boy was studying at the local Urdu school and his parents assumed he was going to school. He heard about the overflowing canal from his friends and went to see it. We don’t know if he tried to swim in the canal but we are assuming he must have slipped and fallen into it,” Hirekerur Town Police said.
Police say that the Fire and Emergency Services personnel along with a few locals are currently carrying out a search operation to look for Soheb. “The force of the water is too high. It will be difficult to look for the boy until the rain stops and the force of the water in the canal reduces,” the police added.
Haveri district police said that three men, who were washed away in a storm water drain along the Haveri-Guttala Road, were rescued by locals. The storm drain had overflowed due to heavy rains and the three men were trying to navigate their motorbikes along the flooded road when they lost control and fell into the storm water drain. “They were rescued by locals immediately,” the police added.
In Belagavi district, the incessant rainfall since Sunday night that continued till Monday morning, inundated several homes in Belagavi City, Sankeshwar and Chikkodi. In Aadi village in Chikkodi, the rainwater inundated homes and people were waiting for rescue personnel on their rooftops. In Sankeshwar, several houses were flooded with rainwater and vehicles were washed away due to the force of the water flooding the roads.
Speaking to TNM, Belagavi Deputy Commissioner Bommanahalli said, "So far the rain has continued in Belagavi. We have stationed one SRDF (State Disaster Relief Force) team in low-lying areas prone to flooding. Totally 24 roads have been barricaded and precautions are being taken to ensure that there is no loss of life. We are prepared to handle it."
In Dharwad, the toll naka road was flooded due to the heavy rainfall, causing inconvenience for commuters. A storm water drain in Navalgund taluk overflowed and flooded the entire village, Dharwad DC Deepa Cholan said.
Several areas in Dharwad, including Lakshmisingan Keri, Jannat Nagar, Narayanpur, Sadhankeri and Bavikatti Plot, were flooded on Sunday night and the rain has continued flooding these areas. The Hoolikeri Lake located close to Alnavar town overflowed late on Sunday night and entered the homes of residents. Road connectivity from Dharwad to Belagavi was lost on Sunday as rainwater flooded the state highway near Harobelavadi village, the Deputy Commissioner said.
North Karnataka was hit by heavy rains and floods in August this year, with 91 persons killed. The incessant rains had submerged entire villages and had displaced nearly four lakh people. The fresh bout of rain comes just as the Karnataka government began relief and rehabilitation works.