Death toll in Andhra Pradesh rises to 30; Ganjam district in Odisha worst hit
Major regions of Andhra Pradesh continue to reel under heavy rains caused by the low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal even as the situation improved in neighbouring Odisha.
The death toll in the floods in A.P. rose to 30 while the figuretouched 16 in Odisha.
Normal life was hit for the fifth day on Saturday in the coastal Andhra and Telangana regions. Two persons were reported missing.
Several mandals, particularly those in Nalgonda district, received rainfall ranging from 20 to 30 cm, with Narketpalli recording the highest — 30.9 cm. Many low-lying areas across the two regions were marooned and roads took a heavy battering, thanks to the breaching of several tanks.
Incessant rains and flooding affected 4,040 villages in 472 mandals of 16 districts of Andhra Pradesh. Crops, mainly paddy and cotton, spread over 6.78 lakh hectares, got damaged.
As the Sunkesula reservoir in Kurnool district received an inflow of 29,000 cusecs, 13 gates were raised up to one metre on Saturday to release 49,000 cusecs.
Vehicular movement on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway, which was affected on Friday night as water from the Pedda Cheruvu overflowed at Kattamgur in Nalgonda, was partially restored as flood waters started receding.
The highway was submerged due to the breaching of the Kurumarthy tank. Stranded passengers had a tough time in getting food and drinking water.
As many as 78,745 people were evacuated and shifted to 207 relief camps across Andhra Pradesh and 12 teams of the National Disaster Response Force were pressed into relief works. The worst affected districts were Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Krishna, Guntur, West Godavari, Prakasam, Kadapa, Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy directed the officials to take up rescue, relief and restoration works on a war-footing.
Situation grim in Ganjam
Though the flood situation eased in Odisha, the situation in Ganjam — which was already affected by cyclone Phailin — remained grim.
Officials said the death toll in the current round of floods had increased to 16.
While four deaths were reported from Ganjam and six from Jagatsinghpur district, two deaths each were reported from Bhadrak, Jajpur and Nayagarh, Special Relief Commissioner P.K. Mohapatra said in Bhubaneswar. The deaths were due to wall collapse and drowning.
Although relief works were affected in Ganjam due to damaged roads and breaches on river embankments at various locations, the situation is likely to improve as the Rushikulya, the Vansadhara and the Ghodahada had started flowing below the danger level.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the situation at a meeting, said: “These rains have been continuing since October 10. Besides causing heavy damage to public property, the loss to the standing crop has been severe,” he said.
Some train services were resumed between Khurda Road and Palasa after flood waters receded from the track in the Balugaon-Chilika-Chatrapur section.