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Choppers on rescue work in AP

HYDERABAD: July 20, 2013 DHNS 10:34 IST
Submerged Pawnar River bridge following heavy rains at Wardha in Vidarbha on Saturday. PTI Photo
Flood situation in Andhra Pradesh continued to be precarious on Saturday with the Godavari river flowing above the danger mark in Khammam, Karimnagar and East Godavari districts while normal life was thrown out of gear in over 200 marooned villages in six districts.

Heavy rain claimed 10 lives, destroyed crops in an area of at least one lakh hectares. Paddy, soybean and cotton crops, which were at nursery stage, were damaged.
The rush of floods was such that 16 lakh cusecs of water was released into the sea from the Dhowleswaram dam at Rajahmundry and Sriramsagar project at Pochampad
in Nizamabad, which was dry till recently, received 1 lakh cusecs.

Officials said three helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were pressed into service for rescue and relief work in Karimnagar, one of the worst-affected districts, while another chopper is ready for rescue operations in Khammam district, where Godavari waters entered the holy town of Bhadrachalam.

The Godavari level at Bhadrachalam was 56.4 feet on Saturday afternoon. Authorities have already issued third warning. Several low-lying areas in and around the temple town were inundated. Rescue teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have reached Khammam for rescue work as 40 villages remained marooned.

More than 40 villages remained marooned in the Manthani division of Karimnagar district. Food, drinking water packets and essential medicines were dropped with the help of IAF helicopters. Many villages are still marooned even though rains have started receding in north Telangana.

The Godavari is still in spate due to overflowing rivulets and huge inflows from upstream and heavy downpour in the catchment area in Maharashtra. In East Godavari district, the water level of the Godavari river crossed the 15 metre-mark at Dhowleswaram near Rajahmundry, flooding over 150 villages in both East and West Godavari districts.

Several villages were cut-off from the rest of the state in Polavaram and Kovur mandals in West Godavari district. District administration evacuated people from many low-lying villages and arranged sand bags to prevent further flooding. Authorities have shifted 1,200 people to safe places. District Collector Neetu Prasad said people in low-lying villages were asked to move to safe places.

The state government has deputed special officers to coordinate relief work and formed help centres to monitor rescue and relief work.
DH News Service

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