Rain havoc in south Andhra Pradesh: At least 12 feared dead

NDRF and SDRF teams have swung into action to carry out relief and rescue operations
Last Updated 19 November 2021, 16:10 IST

Incessant rains have wreaked havoc in Chittoor and Kadapa districts, while Anantapuram was also affected severely on Friday.

At least 12 people were reported as dead in the flash floods near Rajampeta in the Kadapa district. Three road transport buses were caught in the swirling waters and some of the passengers were washed away.

While locals believed that the number of dead could be higher, officials were yet to confirm the toll.

Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy said that four naval helicopters were dispatched to Anantapuram and Kadapa districts for rescue operations and five more helicopters could be pressed into service.

Expressing his condolences to the families of the people who lost their lives due to the heavy rains, Reddy directed officials to provide a compensation of Rs 5 lakh per family. Rs 2,000 would be given to each family affected by floods. Crop damage would be assessed once the rains recede.

The Chief Minister would conduct an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Reddy on phone enquiring about the situation in Andhra and assured of all possible help to the state.

Rivers, streams in Chittoor, Nellore and Kadapa districts like Penna, Swarnamukhi are flowing at dangerous levels causing the collapse of houses and other structures in proximity.

Tirumala-Tirupati situation

Tirupati and Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateshwara, were flooded on an unprecedented scale which has caused immense hardships for the pilgrims and the locals.

Though Friday offered some respite from the rains, several roads and colonies remained in water in Tirupati.

The Sirvari Mettu footpath was damaged at several spots as the heavy water flow from the hills and forests deposited huge boulders and silt in one of the two walkways to the shrine.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams had closed both Aliprii and Srivari mettu paths since Wednesday, in expectation of the downpour.

As rainfall increased, the TTD closed both the ghat roads between Tirumala and Tirupati on Thursday. On Friday, officials reopened the down ghat as restoration works were completed and pilgrims vehicles were allowed in both directions on the same road. Repairs are still underway on the up ghat road and boulders are being cleared.

TTD officials advised pilgrims not to believe in rumours or misleading videos on social media, “as all safety measures are put in place for devotees stranded both at Tirupati and Tirumala.”

The depression over the Bay of Bengal crossed the coastline between Puducherry and Chennai in the wee hours of Friday.

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(Published 19 November 2021, 08:51 IST)

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