Sonia Gandhi surveys flood-hit Andhra, assures help

Accompanied by the union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, she flew over the worst-affected districts of Mahbubnagar and Kurnool to assess the damage caused by the inundation.

Congress general secretary and Andhra Pradesh in-charge M. Veerappa Moily and state Congress president D. Srinivas also accompanied Mrs.Gandhi. The Congress president who arrived from New Delhi in a special aircraft conducted the aerial survey in a helicopter. On her return to the airport here, she received a memorandum from the chief minister, giving details of the losses due to the floods and seeking immediate central assistance. The state government has also demanded that the central government declare the floods a national calamity.

According to an official, Gandhi assured Rosaiah that the centre would extend all possible assistance for relief and rehabilitation. She hoped that normalcy would soon return to the affected areas. She also advised the state government to take all possible measures to prevent loss of life in Vijayawada and surrounding areas along Krishna river.

She reportedly lauded the measures taken by the Rosaiah government to deal with the situation. Gandhi later left for Bellary along with Chidambaram for an aerial survey of flood-hit areas in Karnataka.

The worst floods in the Krishna river in 100 years have caused widespread devastation in five districts of Andhra Pradesh, killing 49 people, rendering over 4,00,000 homeless and damaging crops over thousands of acres.

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