D. Sreenivasulu

CWC predicted unprecedented flood in Tungabhadra

‘Flood to break previous record of 1992 when waters reached 15.8 metres at Mantralayam’

‘Present flood crossed 16.5 metres, washing away CWC station itself in the early hours’

KURNOOL: An apathetic approach to a professional advice has cost the district administration dearly in handling the biggest ever crisis.

Soon after piecing together the rainfall data from different stations of the Central Water Commission (CWC) along the Tungabhadra river, Sub-divisional Engineer B. Chandran , realising the impending danger, rushed to District Collector M. K. Meena on Friday evening with a report that the river was going to receive unprecedented flood, the largest ever in the living memory. The CWC staff predicted that the present flood was going to break the previous record of 1992 when the flood waters reached 15.8 meters at Mantralayam.

Individual spirit

The present flood level was anticipated to cross 16.5 meters. However, the flood proved even the CWC wrong with level crossing 16.5 meters and washing away CWC station in the early hours.

It was triumph of individual spirit over the biggest human tragedy. With no help coming, many people faced the situation bravely and wriggled to safety by using tubes, tyres, wooden planks and whatever means they found. A group of 20 individuals, half of them women, took shelter in the Uttaradhi Math temple considering it a safe place. As the flood water engulfed the first storey of the building, the victims grew nervous and sought help. As the water started entering the first floor, well-known astrologer Ramamurthy Acharyulu went up the iron ladder and helped them to safety.

City Mayor S. Raghurami Reddy and MLA T.G. Venkatesh were confined to their houses throughout the day as flood waters encircled their houses in Narsingraopet. They were helped to safety in the evening. Kotla Suryaprakasa Reddy and his wife Sujathamma left their home at Riverview Colony yesterday itself and shifted to a hotel.

Prominent citizen of Kurnool, K.C. Kalkura who was seen going round the affected areas in the morning found his own house engulfed by the swirling waters.

Praja Rajyam leader D. Vishnuvardhan Reddy kept helping his followers by advising over phone. At the end of the day, his house in Nehrunagar was surrounded by flood. He escaped at the last minute by climbing over the wall and running to safety.

The flood estimates went awry after the gauge station at Mantralayam was washed away. The staff which moderated the flood at Sunkesula was also caught in the swirling waters when the flood bank at reservoir breached.