Heavy rain due to a low pressure trough over the Bay of Bengal pounded several districts of Andhra Pradesh, throwing life out of gear and affecting road and rail transport on Thursday.
Five people, including two women, lost their lives in rain-related incidents. Guntur and adjacent Prakasam district were the worst hit. The government declared an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each for the bereaved families.
In Guntur district, Chilakaluripet, Gurazala, Narsaraopet, Piduguralla, Sattenapalli and Tenali towns were the worst affected. Traffic on the Guntur-Narsaraopet-Sattenapalli road came to a standstill with the seasonal streams submerging the state highway. Traffic between Guntur-Pidiguralla-Hyderabad is also affected with the Jonnalagadda Vagu washing away a portion of a causeway.
Similarly, the Hyderabad-bound Palnadu Express, Macherla Passenger and Falaknuma Express trains were stopped at different stations. The South Central Railway has cancelled or redirected as many as 41 trains on the Guntur-Secunderabad route.
Guntur collector Kantilal Dande told reporters that food packets and water have been supplied to stranded passengers in these railway stations. He said National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been rushed to the affected areas to assist in rescuing stranded people from submerged areas and roads. Forty-seven bus passengers stranded in Krosur Vagu were rescued by NDRF teams after an agonising wait of eight hours.
In a similar operation, local rescued a man stranded in Kuppaganji Vagu in Chilakaluripet Mandal. IAF helicopters from Hakimpet here made several sorties in vain to rescue stranded people and had to return due to bad weather.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh irrigation authorities, in a joint operation, opened 10 gates of the Pulichintala project over Prakasam barrage and discharged water fearing inundation of villages in Nalgonda district. “Priority will be for saving lives, then providing food and water to stranded villagers,” said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu in Amaravati. He said that he had sought the help of the navy for rescuing people from submerged villages.
Heavy rain was reported from Kurnool, Krishna, East and West Godavari districts. With copious inflow into the Dowleshwaram barrage, two lakh cusecs of water were released into the Bay of Bengal.
In Hyderabad, several colonies were flooded for the second consecutive day, following Wednesday’s deluge. The corporation supplied bread and milk to hundreds of families stranded in apartment complexes in Nizampet.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is in Delhi, directed civic authorities to seek the army’s help to help the affected people.