Mantralaya under water, rail station turns shelter

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Mantralaya:  More than 100 people from the temple town of Mantralaya have fled their water-logged homes, got on to a train with just the clothes on their backs and landed up at a government school and railway station in Raichur.

"We came here on Wednesday from Mantralya because of the flooding. We have nothing left, and we don't know when we are going home," says Narayanamma, one of the refugees.

The Raichur Railway Station is also the dwelling place for hundreds of others whose homes are intact but whose journey on the Rajdhani and Karnataka Express was halted by the rains.

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Locals say it hasn't rained like this in 50 years. More than 1.2 lakh people across Karnataka are currently living in shelters. The state chief minister Y S Yeddyurappa feels the floods should be declared a national disaster. "We want the Centre to give financial assistance of 10,000 crores," he says.

It may take months for the affected people of north Karnataka to get their lives back together; they hope the process has started.


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