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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Karnataka rains: Talacauvery temple priest and family missing in Kodagu landslide; rescue ops halted

On Wednesday night, a massive landslide near the Talacauvery temple swept away two houses belonging to the temple priest. Five people residing in the home are reported missing.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Madikeri | Updated: August 8, 2020 9:56:13 am
karnataka rains, karnataka floods, floods in karnataka, coorg rains, coorg district landslides A road collapsed near the 2nd Monnageri school in Madapura, Kodagu (Coorg) district

Five people, including the chief priest of Sri Cauvery temple, are reported missing following a massive landslide in Talacauvery, the birthplace of River Cauvery near Bhagamandala in Karnataka’s Coorg district.

On Wednesday night, a massive landslide near the Talacauvery temple swept away two houses belonging to the temple priest. Five people residing in the house including the chief priest of Talacauvery temple, Narayana Achar (70), his wife Shantha (70), brother Ananda Theertha Swami (87) and two assistants Ravi Kiran (26) and Srinivas (30) are missing.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) along with district administration had to halt rescue operations due to bad weather in Bramhagiri hills. The district is bracing for a flood-like situation after receiving heavy rains in the last four days.

A few days back Narayana Achar’s neighbour had shifted out from another house to nearby Bhagamandala town, fearing a landslide. Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Kodagu Deputy Commissioner C Annies K Joy said, “the search operation has been stopped due to the bad weather and there are many minor landslides on the way to the Talacauvery from Bhagamandala which has stopped earthmovers to reach the spot on Brahmagiri hills.”

According to Bhagamandala Panchayat Development Officer, a notice was issued to the priest’s family a few days ago to shift the house to a safer place, but they chose to stay back.

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The incident came to light Thursday morning after a staff of the temple went on to check Narayana Achar when he didn’t come to the temple. Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Prashanth Achar, a friend, and resident of Bhagamanadala said, “the Talacauvery temple staff went to check on Narayana Achar on Thursday morning when Achar did not reach the temple for the daily puja. The staff immediately rushed back to the temple and alerted the district administration about the incident.”

“Narayana Achar has been working in the temple for decades, a few months back two assistants Ravi Kiran and Srinivas from Dakshina Kannada district were staying at Achar house to help the chief priest in daily puja duties at the temple” Bhat added.

Prashanth Achar also highlighted that the government or the muzarai department had not given any kind of help to the priest’s family to shift or build a new house at the safer place.

karnataka rains, karnataka floods, floods in karnataka, coorg rains, coorg district landslides A house near Parane in Madikeri taluk collapsed on Thursday midnight.

Meanwhile, a minor landslide was reported near the District commissioner’s office at Madikeri on Thursday. On Friday, a road collapsed near the 2nd Monnageri school in Madapura. A house near Parane in Madikeri taluk collapsed on Thursday midnight.

Bhagamandala has received a rainfall of 486 mm in the 24-hour period on Wednesday and Friday, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data. It has surpassed the previous daily record of rainfall in the district at 300.2 mm rainfall at Madikeri on August 17, 2018.

In the last three days, the Kodagu has received an average of 106.12 mm (between 8.30 am of August 3 and 4), 142.49 mm (August 4 and 5) and 162.4 mm (August 5 and 6). In the last two years, the Kodagu district has been crippled by floods and landslides during the monsoon season.

In 2018 the Kodagu district, the country’s largest coffee-growing region, had witnessed heavy floods that claimed 18 lives, displaced more than 7,000 people, and damaged over 50 percent of the coffee plantations. Last year, A massive landslide was reported in Thora village in Virajpet taluk in the district where 10 residents were killed.

Chikkamagaluru: Charmadi Ghat closed after landslide

A landslide has been reported in Charmadi Ghat road which links between Chikkamagaluru and Mangaluru. The road is closed by the Chikkamagaluru district administration for road clearance operations. The rain brought down several trees in Charmadi Ghat area.

karnataka rains, karnataka floods, floods in karnataka, coorg rains, coorg district landslides A landslide has been reported in Charmadi Ghat road which links between Chikkamagaluru and Mangaluru

Heavy rain lashing the Western Ghats in Karnataka is also causing severe damage to roads, houses, and bridges. Fourteen houses in Kasaba in Chikkamagaluru are damaged, with one house in Mudigere taluk collapsing. No casualties have been reported.

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