Landslide swept away four of our neighbours: Pushpa

Jodupala (Kodagu): For Pushpa and her family, residents of Jodupala, the nightmare still haunts them as they saw their neighbours being washed away and the village filled with water and slush in the massive landslide near the village on Friday.

Of the four in the nearby house who were swept away in the landslide, the bodies of two have been found and two are still missing. Jodupala, a village, about 13 km from Madikeri is one of the worst affected due to landslides. Over 300 people have been shifted to temporary shelters in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada district as Jodupala is completely cut off from Madikeri in Kodagu.

“It was raining heavily since a few days and people were scared. Suddenly on Friday, we heard a roaring sound behind the house as if a JCB (earth mover) had approached our house. Within seconds, the nearby stream turned into a river and washed away our neighbours’ house. They disappeared before our eyes. Along with the water came the huge boulders, mud, slush and trees which fell on the highway before the house," Pushpa recollected with tears in her eyes.

“Our children moved to the school (where all the villagers had gathered following rains and landslide). Within an hour, the entire village was filled with mud, slush and water," she added.

When the rain receded on Saturday, they returned to see their house still standing and their pet dog alive.  Though people are concerned about their houses and the valuables in it, they are unable to move to their house due to the incessant rain and fear of fresh landslides. The district administration is evacuating all those in houses here to safer places.

“We had left our house in a hurry when there was a sudden landslide. We don't know the condition of our house. We don't know if it is damaged or safe,” a woman in the shelter at Sampaje said. She along with her husband and two children (six years and three years old) and other family members were sent to the camp at Kallugundi School. "We are uncertain about returning as it is still raining there. We will remain here till we are able to return," Suresh, another villager said.

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