Mangaluru rain: Rescuers shift people to a safer place from a flooded locality in Mangaluru (PTI)
The powerful tropical cyclone Mekunu hit coastal parts of Karnataka on Tuesday, flooding Mangaluru and Udupi. Strong winds uprooted trees and blew light structures off their hinges in several towns and villages in coastal Karnataka.Coastal Karnataka is likely to receive more rain today, the weather office has said.
As heavy rain pounded Mangaluru, 375 kilometres from Bengaluru, and water started stagnating on the streets and entering buildings, some schoolchildren went home on orange inflatable boats escorted by disaster management volunteers in their bright yellow helmets. Shopkeepers downed their shutters amid the downpour. Many vehicles that tried to wade through the water got stuck; the drivers left them and walked on.
The private water forecaster Skymet has predicted that cyclone Mekunu may hit Kerala in a day or two. It has already made landfall in southern Oman and Yemen, carrying winds reaching up to 185 kmph and killing seven people in Yemen.
On Tuesday, teams of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF fanned out across Mangaluru to help stranded people reach home safely. The home ministry has told the NDRF to be on standby for bigger relief operations and if needed, more teams will be sent to coastal Karnataka.
Photos posted on social media by Mangaluru residents show muddy water entering homes and partly submerging some vehicles. A man posted a video of a large snake skimming on the water outside a house and swimming away toward the road as a group of people huddled at a safe distance.
Schools and colleges will remain shut today in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, the deputy commissioners of both districts have ordered. Students of a Mangaluru school who could not get out on time as the water level rose were taken away on inflatable boats by fire service personnel.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a five-day three-nation tour of ASEAN members, after reaching Jakarta late on Tuesday evening tweeted that he has asked the authorities to ensure all possible help to the affected areas in Karnataka.
I pray for the safety and wellbeing of all those affected by heavy rains in various parts of Karnataka. Have spoken to officials and asked them to ensure all possible assistance in the affected areas.
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 29, 2018
Water entered factories at Baikampady industrial area. The factory owners said they could run into big losses. Mangaluru and Bantwal taluks were the worst affected.
In Udupi, a banyan tree fell on the road at at Udyavar, blocking traffic. The strong winds also knocked down electric poles and hoardings. Some 130 buildings were damaged in Udupi district, people familiar with the matter said.
The heavy rain in the coast was due to well-marked low pressure over the south-east Arabian Sea, off the coast of Karnataka and north Kerala, and also due to the onset of monsoon in Kerala, the weather office has said.