After monsoon rains predicted to hit Karnataka's Kodagu district, Deputy Commissioner Annies K Joy has issued a notification to shift people residing in 'vulnerable areas' of the district to relief centres as a precautionary measure.
The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Center (KSNDMC) stated that continuous rainfall will lash Kodagu district from Thursday. District authorities in Kodagu will now make arrangements to shift residents in areas identified by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) as vulnerable, to relief centres in the next three days.
"In the next 2-3 days, officials in the district are directed to take the necessary steps to relocate residents living in areas susceptible to landslides, as identified by the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Nodal officers in the district are also directed to take up emergency relief and precautionary measures to move residents to relief centres. Eligible beneficiaries will receive rent money for the next three months," read the order issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations in Kodagu district.
The interim report by the GSI identified six places where surface cracks have appeared in the district – Niduvitu, Hemmethalu, Makkanduru and three other locations in Hebbategeri. These villages and their surrounding areas have been identified as vulnerable areas. It also includes precarious, sloped areas in Madikeri like Mangaladevi Nagar, Chamundeshwari Nagar and Indiranagar.
Photograph taken in Hemmethalu, Kodagu in October 2018
The residents in these areas who are forced to vacate their homes have also been identified by the district administration and they will receive money for rent for the next three months, confirmed the DC in the notification issued.
Ahead of this year's monsoon, precautions have been put in place in Kodagu after the devastating floods and landslides in the hilly areas of the district in August 2018. The landslides, in particular, affected life in 32 villages and left trees, electric poles and houses buried under mud. Eighteen persons were killed while more than 7,000 residents were displaced.
In order to avoid a repeat of last year's disaster, the district administration has set up a 24x7 helpline center.
The toll-free rescue and relief helpline number is 1077. A separate 24x7 Helpline Centre is currently active in the Deputy Commissioner's office. Residents in the district can contact the district administration on the number - 8550001077 - via WhatsApp.
It has also kept life jackets, raincoats, and tarpaulin in places where relief centres will be opened. Excavators have also been kept in vulnerable areas in the district. A pamphlet which highlights precautionary measures to be taken is being circulated in the district to create awareness.