Kodagu, in Karnataka, has been facing severe floods, landslides and torrential rain over the last two weeks. The floods even battered Kodagu district, which suffered continuous rains and landslides. However, amidst all this destruction, stories of hope and heroes continue to emerge. One such case is from a village in the district, which was narrowly saved from a major disaster, thanks to a young geologist!
Ananya Vasudev RM, an assistant lecturer of Geology at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, used his knowledge about the subject to save many lives. According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), the village of Karike is already prone to landslides. That, along with the heavy rains, put the village at an increased level of risk.
Ananya had just returned to Karike after helping flood victims in Kodagu. While there, he received a ‘strange’ video from a friend. Loud sounds could be heard emanating from the ground in the video.
This triggered something in the geologist, and he asked his friend to send him another video. Speaking to The Times of India, he said, “After analysing the videos, I was sure that it was soil piping, and knew that the people had to be evacuated immediately. I spoke to Kodagu deputy commissioner Sreevidya and timely action was taken.”
Soil piping is a formation of voids within the soil that causes internal erosion and seepage. In other words, a high alert for a major landslide.
The authorities immediately evacuated people from 15 families and avoided a disaster.
Kalachanda Ravi Thammaiah, Convener, Western Ghats Vimochana Committee, speaking about the village of Madikeri, a few hours away from Karike, told TOI, “There was a strange, loud sound, and all the villagers rushed out of their homes. Within minutes, houses started collapsing, and a landslide covered women and children in [the] mud. Youths quickly pulled them out, and jeeps carried them to safer places. The Kodagu deputy commissioner sent excavators, and they helped in the rescue operation.”
The same story would have been repeated in Karike, if not for the geologist’s timely advice.
Ananya’s alertness was instrumental in saving many lives that might have been lost had they not been evacuated.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)