Tributaries in spate; flood alert sounded; over 4 lakh cusecs discharged from Dowleswaram barrage

The Godavari crossed the first warning level of 43 feet at Bhadrachalam on Tuesday evening and poised to surpass the second warning level of 48 feet by Wednesday morning with all its tributaries in spate due to incessant rains in the upper reaches of the river.

With Taliperu, Sabari and other tributaries overflowing, several riverbank villages in a total of 14 flood-prone mandals in Bhadrachalam and Palvancha divisions were facing flood threat. The authorities sounded a flood alert and activated the official machinery to deal with any exigency. According to official sources, the flood level in Bhadrachalam was expected to rise steeply, it was likely to touch the third warning level of 53 feet if the heavy rains continued upstream.

Nearly 30 villages, including 25 in Wajedu mandal, remained cut off from the outside world as Cheekuvagu and Kongalavagu continued to flow over low-level causeways.

Heavy rains wreaked havoc in R. Kothagudem village in Charla mandal where several huts collapsed under the impact of strong gales and heavy downpour. Kongala Cheruvu suffered a breach following which agriculture fields surrounding the water body were inundated in Wajedu mandal, sources added.

Taliperu received heavy inflows prompting the authorities to open 17 gates of the Taliperu project in Charla mandal in the evening. Excess floodwater to an extent of 1.09 lakh cusecs was let out into Godavari.

The Kinnerasani reservoir in Palvancha mandal attained its full reservoir level of 407 feet in the evening. The authorities alerted people in low-lying areas in Burgumpadu and other mandals downstream to discharge the surplus water on Tuesday night.

Control rooms

Meanwhile, Collector Siddharth Jain said the entire official machinery had been kept in a state of high alert. Two control rooms -- one in Bhadrachalam and the other in Palvancha -- had been made operational to monitor the situation round-the-clock. Another control room had been set up in the Collectorate in Khammam for this purpose. The services of the control room can be accessed on phone number: 08742-231600.

Rajahmundry Staff Reporter adds: With the level in the Godavari steadily increasing, all the 175 crest gates of the Dowleswaram barrage were lifted to let out 4.71 lakh cusecs.

At the railway bridge, the level touched 15.2 feet on Tuesday evening. According to Godavari headworks officials, 6 lakh cusecs would be discharged by night or Wednesday morning if the inflows continued.