Karnataka is now battling a tragedy of enormous proportions, second only to the rain havoc in Kerala.
Bengaluru: Was the H. D. Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka and the Kodagu district in-charge minister Sa Ra Mahesh, sleeping on the job?
Data accessed by this newspaper from the National Remote Sensing Centre shows that a moderate intensity quake measuring 3.4 on the Richter Scale struck Kodagu, Hassan and Chikkamgaluru and neighbouring Kerala, on July 9. Exactly four days later, a low-pressure system began building in the Bay of Bengal, triggering the heaviest downpour in a 100 years, in both Kerala and Kodagu, causing losses of hundreds of lives and damage to crores worth of property, with homes and livelihoods left ruined with little hope of a recovery in the immediate future.
Was the HDK government unaware that a quake of such magnitude could trigger landslides especially after the rains loosened the soil and weakened the topography? Why did the government not issue a warning or an alert and evacuate people from harm’s way, after the NRS centre issued data on the earthquake, and this became publicly available on the Indian Meteorological Department website the very next day?
Karnataka is now battling a tragedy of enormous proportions, second only to the rain havoc in Kerala. And the worst affected areas are Kodagu and Sakleshpur in which the now blocked Shiradi Ghat is located. Sources say that this oversight on the part of the government, comes after the rejection of the Kasturirangan report, which had stressed on the need to relocate villagers from many places, which ironically, have now been hit by landslides.
In fact there is an uncanny link between the July 9 quake and the landslides in Kodagu, Hassan and Chikkamagaluru — the quake line passed through Madikeri and Bisale via Narasimharajapura in Chikkamagaluru.