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Cyclone 'Mekunu' hits coastal Karnataka, CM Kumaraswamy takes stock, PM Modi assures help

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 30, May 2018, 9:24 am IST | UPDATED: 31, May 2018, 12:11 pm IST

Cyclone 'Mekunu' hits coastal Karnataka, CM Kumaraswamy takes stock, PM Modi assures help Mangalore: Heavy rain lashed the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in Karnataka, disrupting traffic and severely affecting normal life. Throughout the day, roads in many parts of Mangaluru and other cities remained flooded as vehicular traffic crawled and boats were used to ferry stranded school children among others. A 65-year-old woman died due to a wall collapse.

The cyclone ‘Mekunu’ on Tuesday hit coastal districts of Karnataka. Mangalore and Udupi were the worst-hit areas in the state so far. Schools, colleges and other educational institutions, markets were closed following the devastation.

The region also witnessed heavy rainfall which uprooted many trees and caused floods. The Indian Metereological Department had earlier predicted a heavy rainfall. Skymet weather has predicted that cyclone might make an onset in Kerala in a day or two.

"By evening, water receded and the situation was under control, said the Dakshina  Kannada district administration. After 6 pm, the tide went out and the city is normal," Deputy Commissioner Sasikant Senthil told media.

This “monsoon-induced low pressure” resulted in the downpour and Mangaluru taluk received about 400 mm rainfall within a few hours. The inability of the existing drainage network’s capacity to handle additional load, coupled with the high tide in the Arabian Sea resulted in waterlogging in many parts of the city between 10 a.m. and noon. However, water drained out in most parts of the city by afternoon, Mr. Senthil said.

Police Commissioner Vipul Kumar said that two more platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police, in addition to the existing two, were being summoned. Leaving just two persons at each police station, all police personnel were asked to join the rescue work, he added.

As per the IMD warning, north interior Karnataka would witness thundershowers with gusty winds in the next three days. IMD has warned very heavy rain in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts till Friday.

HD Kumaraswamy took stock of the situation, directing the district administration to take Coast Guard's help to rescue people and ordered that necessary precautionary steps be prevent loss of lives, the Chief Minister's Office said.

Nearly a week after they were sworn in, Mr Kumaraswamy and his deputy G Parameshwara of the Congress are the only two people in the state cabinet.

Negotiations are on for plum cabinet berths, with the finance ministry believed to be the sticking point between alliance partners JDS and the Congress.

The BJP-led central government was quick to react as reports of flooding and inconvenience faced by the public trickled in.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently outside the country on a visit to southeast Asia tweeted, saying he prays for the safety of those affected by the heavy rain.

"Have spoken to officials and asked them to ensure all possible assistance in the affected areas", said PM Modi.

In Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation in Mangaluru and other coastal areas in Karnataka.

A tweet from Mr Singh's office said he had asked the Home Secretary to send more teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to Mangaluru if needed.

State BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa, who quits two days after he took oath as Chief Minister before a trust vote in the assembly, tweeted his prayers for those hit by the rain and asked fishermen not to venture into the sea.

Mr Yeddyurappa, who had earlier said, that the state government would not last "even three months as it was formed against the public mandate" refrained from attacking the JDS-Congress government.

"Centre has assured all possible support in mitigating the situation due to heavy rains," he said.

On Saturday, the Arabian sea was very rough prompting the administration to caution tourists and others from entering the water for a bath. The sea was rough at Goa’s Arambol and other beaches in Pernem.
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