Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur bear the brunt; 150 villages cut off from mainland
The flood situation in the State worsened on Sunday following torrential rains which continued unabated in coastal Andhra inundating hundreds of villages, cutting off 150 of them from the mainland.
Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur bore the brunt even as the toll due to drowning and wall collapse rose to 25, including nine from East Godavari. More deaths are feared, going by extensive and intensive flooding at innumerable places.
People remained marooned in many habitations as the flood water due to heavy inflows into nearby rivers and streams engulfed them. At Satyavaram in Srikakulam district, villagers spent the day on roof-tops till help reached them. Two Navy helicopters were pressed into service to rescue close to 70 people trapped in the waters of the swollen Hemadri Gadda and another rivulet at Chodavaram and Pendurthi in Visakhapatnam district. A similar operation was on to save passengers of two buses, that were caught on a causeway of Dharmavaram stream in the same district.
A ‘guru’ and 15 students of a Tapovanam Vedic school near Tuni were brought to safety, Disaster Management Commissioner T. Radha said.
43 villages under threat
Nagavali and Vamsadhara rose suddenly at Srikakulam, threatening 43 villages, while a railway track near Tuni came under the waters of the overflowing Tandava. Landslips and flood water damaged a 300-metre stretch of track in Araku Valley.
Traffic to Orissa from North Coastal Andhra came to a halt following closure of the bridge at Palakonda as it developed cracks. Knee deep water persisted in several localities in and around Rajahmundry and the situation was no different in Tanuku and Tuni.
Long lines of vehicles were witnessed on the National and State Highways at many places, including Tuni, Prattipadu, Annavaram, following traffic hold-ups as water flowed dangerously across the road. Narsapur in West Godavari recorded 31 cm rainfall, the highest at any place in the State on a single day in recent years. It was 27 cm at Amalapuram, Rajahmundry (25 cm), and Yellamanchilli (23 cm), Koderu (21 cm) and 20 cm each in Chodavaram and Narsipatnam and Kakinada.
Several other places reported rainfall averaging from 10 to 15 cm each. Yet, no relief was in sight for the coastal belt as the met officials warned that heavy rain was likely to continue on Monday too. Flood threat looms over places skirting Kolleru lake, including Eluru, which has already suffered because of the huge discharges into Thammileru. Drinking water supply in Gudivada in Krishna district was affected as its pumphouse was inundated.
The railway authorities and the State-owned RTC were forced to cancel a number of services or divert them through alternative routes. At Vijayawada, huge boulders slid on the ghat road leading to Kanakadurga temple. In Khammam district, water entered Singareni’s opencast mines at Yellandu, Sattupalli and Kothagudem, affecting coal production.
Kiran for flood-hit areas
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy will visit the flood-affected areas of West Godavari, East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts on Monday.