Rains and floods ravage Andhra Pradesh, Odisha; 51 dead

Last Updated 26 October 2013, 20:52 IST

Incessant rain and floods have claimed 51 lives in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal with hundreds of villages submerged in nearly 30 districts and road and rail links disrupted in the region.

Three persons were also killed in heavy rain in south Bengal with normal life thrown out of gear in Kolkata and adjacent districts.

The flood-battered Andhra Pradesh, where 29 people have been killed in the last four days, is unlikely to get respite anytime soon as the Met department has forecast heavy downpour in the next 48 hours in the state as also in many Odisha districts and south

The Met office on Saturday said rain or thundershowers would occur in most places over north Andhra Pradesh during the next 48 hours and decrease thereafter.

The low pressure area over Telangana and neighbourhood would become less marked in the next 24 hours. Heavy rainfall has been predicted in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur in Coastal Andhra Pradesh and in Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda, Mahaboobnagar, Rangareddy and Hyderabad in the Telangana region.

Rain has displaced over 79,000 people in Andhra Pradesh, while hundreds of villages remained submerged.

Prakasam district accounted for the maximum deaths of six, followed by Guntur (five), Mahaboobnagar (four), Hyderabad, Kurnool (three each), Vizianagaram, East Godavari, Nalgonda and Warangal (two each), a government release said.

Largescale damage

As many as 3,230 villages in Andhra Pradesh’s 16 districts were badly affected due to torrential rain and 6,600 houses damaged, Disaster Management Commissioner T Radha said. State Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshmi Narayana said crops in 6.77 lakh hectares of land had been damaged.

 The Krishna river is in spate following which 4.8 lakh cusecs of water is being discharged into the Bay of Bengal from Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada, flooding low-lying areas on the river banks.

Vast stretches of Vijayawada-Hyderabad Highway were submerged in floodwaters, leading to traffic diversion. Vehicular traffic has been thrown out of gear as a 1060-km stretch of the road has been marooned.

Overall, 4,047 km of R&B roads have been damaged. As many as 117 minor irrigation tanks were damaged in the rain-ravaged districts.

In Visakhapatnam, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and former chief minister
N Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the state government has totally failed to help Phailin victims and those affected by heavy rain.

Naidu, talking to media at Visakhapatnam airport, before leaving for Srikakulam district, announced that he would also visit rain-affected Telangana districts.

YSR Congress honorary president Y S Vijayamma will also visit rain-affected areas in Krishna and Godavari districts on Sunday.

In Odisha, two deaths each were reported from Bhadrak, Jajpur and Nayagarh districts, Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra told reporters in Bhubaneshwar after the situation was reviewed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“All the deaths were due to wall collapse and drowning,” Mohapatra said.

The Rusikulya, Godahada and Vansadhara rivers were flowing below the danger mark. Over 5.32 lakh people in 2,276 villages in 13 districts were affected by the floods in Odisha, while about 1.47 lakh people were evacuated, officials said.

Of the 129 villages inundated in Ganjam district by flash floods on Friday, water had receded in 69 villages.

An Indian Meteorological Department bulletin said heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over the next 48 hours at one or two places over Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawarangpur, Rayagada, Gajapati and Kalahandi districts and heavy rainfall at one or two places over north Odisha.

Rail track at Bommayipalli on the Secunderabad-Guntur section was damaged and repairs were being carried out. All important trains on this route are being diverted via Warangal and Vijayawada, official sources said.

The East Coast Railway has cancelled the Bhubaneswar- Bengaluru Prasanthi Express and the Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam Express trains due to heavy rain. The Puri-Tirupati Express and Coromandel Express also stand cancelled, they said.

Rains have inundated Kolkata, with water-logged streets and some arterial roads of the metro showing no signs of improvement.

Police said one person died after parts of an old house collapsed in central Kolkata’s Posta due to heavy rain. According to the regional weather office, the city received around 154 mm of rains in the last 24 hours, one of the highest in the ongoing season of depression and low pressure. The weather office predicted rains would continue over the next 24 hours due to a depression over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh which is moving towards the Odisha-Bengal coast.

Train services in both Howrah and Sealdah divisions have also been severely affected, with authorities of both Eastern and South Eastern Railways admitting that suburban and long distance train services have taken a severe hit on account of water-logging on the tracks.

(Published 26 October 2013, 07:11 IST)

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