"If not for our neighbours who acted quickly, me, my wife and children would have been dead by now," one resident said.

A house that is completely destroyed with gas cylinders and utensils lying on ground.
news Floods Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - 19:43

Residents of Ramanagara city in Karnataka woke up in a state of panic in the early hours of August 29. The river Arkavathi which flows through their neighbourhoods unleashed its wrath on them after it swelled up following heavy rains. The river does not have well-built retaining walls and the constant downpour led to the flooding of nearby areas. The water receded only on August 30 and laid bare the extent of damage caused by the flood. 

TNM visited Ramanagara city on August 30 and on speaking to several locals, we found that Zia Ulla block and Tippu Nagar were among the severely affected areas in the city. A walk through these neighbourhoods showed that the flood water had washed away many roads and local residents had suffered huge losses as their houses, belongings, and shops had been damaged. We could independently verify that at least five to six houses in the Zia Ulla block alone were brought down to rubble. “We were all asleep when the water started coming in and there was no time to think. Everything happened so fast that even rescue teams could not reach our area. It was all us residents who saved the lives of each other,” said Shabir, a resident who works as a fruit vendor.

With rescue teams not being able to reach in time, the residents took it upon themselves to save one another. Hidayat Pasha’s family of four, including two children aged five and two, did not realise that the water had breached before it was too late. They were locked inside their home with water levels rapidly rising to their necks. “If not for our neighbours who acted quickly, me, my wife and children would have been dead by now. Our door was jammed and with no way to go in or out, our neighbours broke in through the roof by breaking sheets. They handed us a ladder and helped us get out,” said Hidayat Pasha, who owned a general and stationery store.

Watch TNM’s video story from Ramanagara

The majority of the houses in these areas did not have buildings high enough for people to take shelter during the flood. In this circumstance, the residents collected ropes, sarees, and other garments to create makeshift rescue throw lines and prevent people from drifting away with the water. Even after the water receded the next day on August 30, though they were out of danger, a set of new worries had arisen. The people had lost all their food rations, savings and several even lost their documents needed to claim compensation for their losses. Once again, the communities came together in whatever ways they could. Residents who had the capacity provided cooked food, milk, biscuits, and other food essentials to those who had lost everything. “By god’s grace, we’re alive and have food to eat because our neighbours have been very helpful. However, like every other house here, mine is filled with sludge and we do not have any other facilities for washrooms or clothes other than the ones we are now wearing. I earn roughly Rs 15,000 per month, how are we to move forward from this?” asked Obaidullah, whose profession is to make silk threads.

The water began coming in around 5 am on August 29, and by 7 am, many parts of the Ramanagara city were flooded with water reaching as high as 12 feet, residents said. The Superintendent of Police for Ramanagara K Santosh Babu confirmed that two deaths have been reported in the district with 1,383 houses damaged, 147 hectares of horticulture crops and 30 hectares of agricultural crops lost, as of August 29, but did not give any numbers on how many houses were destroyed.

Watch TNM’s video report from Ramanagara

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.