More than one lakh people evacuated; several temples flooded

Life was badly affected in most parts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as incessant rain lashed the States for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, claiming 20 and 10 lives respectively.

The flood situation remained grim as several rivers and rivulets in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema were in spate due to heavy rain under the impact of a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal. About 68,000 people living in low-level areas were shifted to safer places and 135 relief camps opened as heavy rain measuring up to 26 cm pounded Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Prakasam, West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts.

Farmers, the worst affected by Cyclone Phailin in north coastal Andhra, were at the receiving end of the nature’s fury again: crops on 11 lakh acres were inundated affecting paddy, cotton, maize and redgram.

Disaster Management Commissioner T. Radha said the rain had so far claimed the lives of five persons in Prakasam, four in Guntur, three each in Hyderabad, Kurnool and Mahbubnagar, two in Visakhapatnam and one each in Vizianagaram and West Godavari districts. Two others were missing.

In Odisha, thousands of people in a dozen districts that were crippled by Phailin have been evacuated to cyclone shelters and school/college buildings. Special Relief Commissioner P.K. Mohapatra said 85,000 people had so far been evacuated.

Flash floods occurred in rivers and rivulets in several blocks of Ganjam and Gajapati districts. The government has ordered all schools and colleges closed in all flood-hit districts.

In Hyderabad, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held a review meeting. Officials informed him that 12 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed in coastal districts.