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Torrential downpour continues in Udupi, district to stay on red alert till Tuesday3 min read

September 22, 2020 2 min read

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Torrential downpour continues in Udupi, district to stay on red alert till Tuesday3 min read

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UDUPI: A record in 38 years, Udupi district experienced its heaviest rainfall over the last couple of days. The taluks of Udupi, Karkala, Kapu and Brahmavar saw displacement of residents from low-lying areas as roads and homes were flooded.

An average of 214mm of rain was received in a single day, on September 20. During regular monsoon days, the rainfall is only about 12mm.

As per the damage assessment report of the district administration, as of Sunday, a total of 77 villages, 785 families and 1107 houses were affected. As many as 2,874 individuals were rescued and 1,201 individuals were accommodated in relief camps. However, no loss of life or injuries were reported.

“Every year, the district of Udupi receives a total rainfall of about 5,000 to 6,000mm. A few days ago, the monsoon became active as low pressure was detected in some parts of the Bay of Bengal, near the coast of Andra Pradesh. This low pressure pulls out the moisture and clouds from the Arabian Sea. In the process, the wind patterns also change, bringing about heavy to extremely heavy rainfall along the west coast, covering Udupi, Dakshin Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts,” explained Dr SSM Gavaskar, Junior Scientific Officer and Meteorologist, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC).

Rainfall is calculated generally by percentage departure, which sees how much percentage of rainfall is above normal. By KSNDMC’s calculations, the rain intensity over the last few days has increased by 1,540 percent.

A flooded shop being cleared in Udupi on Sunday

“Relief centres have been set up in each taluk. Schools and colleges have been converted to accommodate those who were evacuated. The fire and emergency services department of the district started the rescue operations as it took time for the NDRF team in Mangalore to reach sooner. An NDRF team from Mysore has also been deployed to continue the evacuations,” said Ravi Ojanahalli, a professional with the district disaster management team.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had previously forecasted heavy isolated rains between September 19 and 23. “We sent precautionary notifications on newspapers starting from September 18 asking people to avoid the seaside and seek safety if they lived in places that were prone to flash flooding. Such rains happen once in decades. With the boost in development of home and road infrastructure, and improper run off, it is natural that the water levels in certain places will rise,” Ojanahalli added.

While rescue and safety operations continue, civilians have also stepped up to help those affected. Mahesh Shenoy, a resident of Beedinagudde, has been offering help in his neighbourhood. “Around 45 houses in our locality were flooded. We provided food and shelter in a wedding hall we own. Some of these people have moved to their relatives’ houses, while some continue to seek shelter here.”

The rains are predicted to continue till the end of Tuesday and recede by Wednesday. Until then the district will be under red alert. Alerts have also been raised for other regions in the Malnad and coastal belts.

For emergency, contact the toll free helpline: 1077

Author: Vaibhavi Vaman

Photo Credits: Abhishek Manoharan