Bangalore, July 21 (IANS) Heavy rains continued to lash Karnataka Sunday as the monsoon remained vigorous, disrupting normal life, causing traffic jams on state and national highways and flooding low-lying areas across the state, an official said.
"With the meteorological department forecasting more rains across the state during the next two days, we have directed the authorities in the districts to evacuate people from low-lying areas and monitor water levels in reservoirs, dams and catchment areas," Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management director V.S. Prakash told IANS here.
The southwest monsoon arrived in the state on time in June first week and remained steady later but low pressure and strong surface winds have turned it vigorous during the last one week, bringing heavy rains across the coastal, south interior and north interior areas.
"The excess rainfall in two-thirds of the state during the last six weeks has been a great relief for the people, especially farmers who have been reeling under severe drought over the past two years. Incessant rains in the catchment areas and the Western Ghats have led to reservoirs and dams brimming with water once again," Prakash said.
The timely monsoon has also allowed farmers to take up sowing operations in all the rain-fed areas across the state.
Major rivers like Cauvery, Tunga, Bhadra and Krishna which are the lifeline of the state, have been overflowing following heavy rains in their tributaries and due to discharge of waters from dams in southern Maharashtra.
"To avoid flooding of villages along the Krishna river banks, about 10 of the 26 gates of the Almatti dam in Bagalkot district in the northern region were opened Saturday to release 81,515 cusecs of water to Bavasagar reservoir in Narayanpura, as the water level crossed 518 feet against its maximum level of 519.6 feet," Prakash said.
According to the met department, Kalsa in Chikmagalur district registered a whopping 210 mm of rainfall Saturday, Castle Rock in Uttara Kannada district 190 mm, Kamaradi in Chikmagalur district 180 mm, Bhagamandala in Kodagu district and Agumbe in Shimoga district 150 mm each.