The toll in heavy rains and floods in Karnataka climbed to 168 with 12 fresh casualties being reported even as there was slight let up in the rains in some regions, officials said.
The toll was likely to go up as the rescue operations, which had been hampered in some regions due to pounding rains, would be continued once the rains stop, revenue department officials told PTI.
Bijapur was the most adversely hit district, with 31 rain-related deaths followed by Bagalkot(26), Raichur(24), Gulbarga (21), Koppal (20), Bellary (14), Belgaum (11), Gadag (8), Karwar (5), Bidar (4), Davangere(3) and Dakshina Kannada (1).
Rain fury has damaged 1,87,658 houses and 451 villages have been affected, the officials said, adding 1,175 relief camps have been set up where 2,68,329 persons have taken shelter.
Earlier State Home Minister V S Acharya had said eight helicopters and 73 boats were engaged in relief and rescue operations. Besides, two National Disaster Relief Force teams, each comprising 150 personnel and 1,100 CRPF personnel had also been deployed in 15 rain-affected districts, he said.
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had yesterday asked the Centre to declare the unprecedented rainfall and flood situation in the state as a national disaster and sought Rs 10,000 crore for relief measures.
Yeddyurappa had also conducted an aerial survey of affected districts of Bellary, Koppal and Raichur and also temple-town of Mantralaya in Andhra Pradesh bordering the state.