If many parts of the country were reeling under a drought just a couple of months ago, many regions are struggling to cope with excess rainfall today.

Incessant rain has triggered flooding in parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal, leading to heavy casualties and widespread devastation.

Normal life has been thrown out of gear with road and rail networks destroyed in several places. With their crops submerged, farmers in these regions are a worried lot.

The silver lining is that the rain has led to an increase in the reservoir levels in the South and West.

The monsoon, in its strongest phase over many parts of Peninsular and Central India, has been dumping vast amounts of rain in these regions over the past couple of days. The flood situation remains grim in Southern Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka, where the swollen Krishna, Ghataprabha and Malaprabha rivers have wrecked havoc, forcing the evacuation of close to two lakh people to safer places. Over 20 people are estimated to have died.

Sangli, Kolhapur reeling



Sangli and Kolhapur districts in Maharashtra, Belgavi, Bagalkot, Dharwad, Bijapur, Kodagu, Chikkamagalur and the coastal districts of Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka are the worst affected.

Standing crops such as sugarcane, maize and vegetables such as tomato on about 1.5 lakh hectares have has been hit by the flooding in Karnataka. With the sugarcane crop in Kolhapur and Sangli submerged, farmers in the region are worried. Kolhapur and Sangli are the sugar bowl of Maharashtra.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddiyurappa was at Belagavi supervising relief operations, while his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis carried out an aerial survey of Sangli and Kolhapur on Thursday. Teams from the Army, Air Force and Coast Guards are assisting the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in relief operations in both States.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit Polavaram and Devipatnam regions in East and West Godavari districts.

Some 150 families have been evacuated in four tehsils of Goa following heavy rains and release of water from the Tillari dam on the Goa-Maharashtra border.

With rains continuing to pound Southern Maharashtra, water is being released from the Koyna and Radhanagari dams, resulting in a surge in the water level of the Krishna. This has forced Maharashtra to request Karnataka to release water from the downstream Almatti reservoir. Karnataka has agreed.

A red alert has been sounded in three districts of Northern Kerala — Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and in Idukki, where heavy rain and widespread landslides have claimed four lives. Over 2,000 people have been shifted to relief camps. Kerala has sought help from the Army and the NDRF to lead rescue missions.

The Western Ghat region has seen prodigious monsoon downpours. While the heaviest rain (above 10 cm) was spread out over Karnataka, in Tamil Nadu, the Nilgiris recorded exceptional rainfall within a 24-hour period.

Avalanchi in the Nilgiris received the 82 cm of rainfall — the highest — over the past 24 hours followed by Kottigehara in Karnataka at 31 cm.

The IMD has forecast more rains in Gujarat, Maharashtra and coastal Karnataka over the next two days.