33 killed, 18 lakh affected in AP floods

A man watches a submerged truck at the Beechpalli bridge national highway in Mehaboobnagar, Andhra Pradesh, on Saturday. AP

Though the official death toll has been put at 33 in five districts of Kurnool, Mehaboobnagar, Krishna, Guntur and Nalgonda, the actual number of dead in rain-related incidents could be much higher as reports reaching here suggested that scores of people have gone missing.

As many as 18,30,165 people were affected in the floods out of which 3,83,716 have been evacuated to safer places, Chief Minister K Rosaiah told reporters here on Saturday.

The water level at Srisailam reservoir at 6 pm stood at 895 ft, one-and-a-half-feet less than the highest level of 896.5 feet, he said. The inflow and outflow of the reservoir matched at 14.50 lakh cusecs, he said.

The government is organising search and rescue operations with six helicopters, 550 Army personnel and 254 boats, he said. To provide immediate relief to the people, 227 camps have been set up where 2,43,656 people have been accommodated, he said. Lakhs of food packets, water sachets and essential medical aid are being supplied to the flood victims.

Rosaiah said he spoke to his Karnataka counterpart B S Yeddyurappa and urged him to hold back release of water from the reservoirs in the neighbours if their capacity permitted. Yeddyurappa agreed to the request and assured all possible help to Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Rosaiah has announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh to the kin of the deceased and financial assistance as per government norms to those who suffered losses.
Chief Secretary P Ramakant Reddy said water has entered the right side of the power plant at Srisailam and effort was on to drain it out.

Asked about evacuation efforts in Vijayawada where the discharge from Prakasam barrage on Krishna river may go up to unprecedented 10 lakh cusecs, Reddy said 1.50 lakh people have already been evacuated. “We are working out on the evacuation plans in Krishna district. At the moment, about 6.5 lakh cusecs of water is being discharged at Vijayawada barrage. Already 1.50 lakh people have been evacuated,” he said.
On weather forecasts that predicted rains in Karnataka as well as Andhra Pradesh, he said, “we are comfortably placed for the next 48 hours”. 

Meanwhile, former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s son Y S Jaganmohan Reddy has announced a contribution of Rs 20 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Praja Rajyam Chief Chiranjeevi’s son and young actor Ram Charan has announced Rs 10 lakh to the CM’s relief fund.

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