Capital records 18 cm rainfall in eight hours; two more deaths reported in State

Heavy rain battered Andhra Pradesh on Saturday claiming 11 lives in all, nine of them in wall collapses in the State capital, which received a record 18 cm rainfall in eight hours. According to reports reaching Hyderabad, two more deaths were reported from outside the Capital. One of them died in a wall collapse in Mahabubnagar.

The Friday fury unleashed by the rain gods exposed the chinks in the stated preparedness of the administration. As the torrential downpour lashed the twin cities, the age-old storm water drain system clogged leading to water logging of roads and inundation of several localities. The State capital witnessed one of the worst traffic jams in the recent times.

As rain continued to batter without any let up, two incidents of wall collapses were reported from Balanagar and Miyapur areas claiming nine lives. The compound wall of a paint factory near Narsapur crossroads in Balanagar collapsed on the abutting huts leaving five persons dead around 2.30 a.m. Most of the huts were put up by a group of blanket sellers who had come from Madhya Pradesh.

Death was instant for Shantilal (19), Kalu Khan (19) Gopal (18) all from Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh and a city municipal contract worker, J. Pochamma (42) of Medak district. The worker’s son Babu (22) who had come from the village to see her, battled for life for an hour after being trapped beneath the debris.

Police said Babu was trapped under the debris which consisted of broken bricks and huge boulders. A screaming Babu was rescued with much difficulty and rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Four of a family dead

In another incident, four members of a family, Fareeda (30), her son, Md. Sameer (6) and daughters Samreen (4) and Muskaan (2) were buried alive when the wall of their tin-roofed house collapsed while they were asleep. Fareeda’s husband, Md. Mahmood, woke up at 4 a.m. and went to answer nature’s call when the wall caved in. “I stepped out and walked a few feet when I heard a huge thud. I ran back only to find them dead,” he cried.

Elsewhere, three second standard students of a private school at Girinagar in Balangar sustained head injuries after a heavy wooden frame of a building under construction came off due to strong winds and fell on their asbestos-roofed classroom. The injured, Jyotika, Pravalika and Shekhar, all aged about eight years, were admitted to a private hospital. Doctors said the condition of Jyotika was critical, while other two were recuperating.

Scores of vehicles parked on the roads at many low-lying areas were damaged due to inundation. Water logging was reported even on trunk routes holding up traffic at many places including the Hi-tec city and Raj Bhavan road.