Kodagu, Aug 08, 2019: A major landslide disrupted traffic on Makkuta Road connecting Virajpet in Kodagu and Kerala. The landslide had occurred on Monday morning and is the first major landslide to occur in Kodagu this year, a year after landslides had devastated the hilly region.
"This is the first major one (landslide). Traffic has been halted on the road. We are working on the temporary restoration of the road. It has been closed for four days and we will try to allow small vehicles to operate on the road during that time. Permanent restoration will take some time," confirmed Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Annies Joy, who inspected the spot where the landslide occurred.
The road has been closed from Perumbadi check post to Makutta check post. Vehicles going towards Kerala will now have to take an alternate route via Gonikoppal-Kutta.
A holiday has been declared for schools and colleges in Kodagu after a red alert was issued for the district by the Indian Meteorological Department from August 7 to 9. District officials have identified areas in the district where they will open relief centres if the rains intensify and fresh landslides occur.
"Few cracks have appeared on the roads but the situation is under control. We have identified places we will open relief camps in," added Annies.
Earlier in July, a minor landslip had occurred at the old private bus stand in Madikeri. Residents in the district living in vulnerable areas have shifted to rented accommodations for the monsoon season. The district administration will pay compensation amount for rent for up to three months.
Officials admitted that they were caught unprepared during the floods and landslides that took the lives of 18 people and displaced over 7,000 others in 2018.
A holiday was declared for schools and colleges in five taluks of Dakshina Kannada district, which neighbours Kodagu. The taluks excluded are Moodabidri and Mangaluru city. A holiday was also declared for schools and colleges in Shivamogga district due to the rains.
In addition to the toll-free rescue and relief helpline number 1077, Kodagu residents can contact the district administration on 8550001077 via WhatsApp for any assistance.