India – Floods Hit Northern Karnataka

Recent flooding in the southwestern state of Karnataka in India has displaced around 2,225 people, damaged 974 houses and almost 87,000 hectares of crops.

Karnataka is now on the growing list of states hit by flooding, with Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh currently battling floods after heavy monsoon rain that began in July.

Krishna river flooding in Karnataka India August 2019. Photo: Government of Karnataka

In Karnataka, India’s Central Water Commission (CWC) reports that at least 11 dams or barrages are at or approaching maximum levels. Water releases from dams along the Krishna river basin in Karnataka and neighbouring Maharashtra have caused flooding in several districts of the state.

India’s National Emergency Response Centre (NERC) said that in the last few days flooding has affected the districts of Vijayapura, Belagavi, Bagalokot, Yadagiri and Raichur.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), military personnel and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are assisting in rescue and relief operations, in particular in Raichur and Belagavi districts.

On 05 August, CWC said: “Due to heavy flows in river Krishna and from many of the tributaries of river Krishna in Maharashtra as well as heavy rains in Belagavi, Vijayapura and Kalaburagi Districts of Karnataka, there is likely to be increased flows in river Krishna and its tributaries in Karnataka in the districts of Belagavi, Vijayapura (also known as Bijapur), Bagalkote, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Raichur are likely to face increased water levels.

“Since most of the dams and barrages in Karnataka and Telangana on river Krishna are already very near Full Reservoir Level (FRL), there is likelihood of increased inflows into Srisailam dam during the next 3-4 days which will take it very near the FRL in the coming week.”

The floods in Karnataka come a year after devastating floods and landslides in Kodagu district in August 2018, where at least 8 people died and 3,500 were displaced.

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