Rains caused by the depression in the Bay of Bengal moved north to Prakasam district on Wednesday, easing up a bit in already devastated Nellore district and giving Chittoor a respite.
However, in the latter districts, several towns lived in dread of floods from the swollen rivulets as they continue to be fed inflows from the catchment areas.
It was the turn of towns in Prakasam district to receive a dunking on Wednesday, with Lingasamudram and V.V. Palem in the south getting a 115.4 mm and 107.4 mm lashing respectively.
However, unlike in Chennai and Nellore, the rains here have not been locally concentrated, with as many as 10 mandals receiving more than 40 cm of rainfall.
Authorities at the Rallapadu irrigation project had to raise five gates to release 9,000 cusecs of water to maintain the level at 19 ft, just short of full level of 20 ft. Several villages and low-lying habitations in the towns are inundated due to streams swelling quickly. In Addanki, rain water entered the treasury office, reports said.
In Nellore, Wednesday brought less rain, but enough for people in Gudur and Nayudupeta to spend a day in dread of floods from the Kaivalya, Kalangi, Pambaleru and Swarnamukhi, which are still in fury. The scene turned grim at Madhureddy Colony near Gudur where flood waters entered the village and residents made frantic appeals for help. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rushed in boats to shift them to safer places. At Nancharampeta in Chillakur mandal limits, NDRF teams are searching for a man who has been missing since the downpour of Monday night. He had gone to attend to some work at a prawn tank and got stranded amid the raging Kandaleru.
The Ganga-Cauvery and the Lucknow-Chennai express trains were halted for a brief while at Doravarisatram en route to Chennai because the tracks down the line were under water. During the brief emergency halt, four young men from Bihar got down from the Ganga-Cauvery Express intending to catch a bus to Chennai. They were soon caught in the swirling waters and had to be rescued by the police.
Several towns and villages in rural Nellore remained cut off. Traffic between Gudur and Venkatagiri was stopped on account of overflowing streams. For a few hours on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, NH5 from Sullurupeta to Tada came under two feet of water and vehicular traffic was stopped to let the flood recede.
APSRTC buses are not plying from Nellore and Chennai on account of the unprecedented floods over on the Tamil Nadu side. Services to some interior places from Nayudupeta, Sullurupeta and Gudur in southern parts of the district are affected too.
Chittoor district got a respite from rain on Wednesday morning, but the situation continued to be grim with floodwaters threatening to breach tanks. Satyavedu, Buchinaidu Kandriga, Varadaiahpalem, Thottambedu, Srikalahasti, KVB Puram, Pichatur, Nagalapuram, Nagari, Chandragiri, Ramachandrapuram and Yerpedu are the worst-hit mandals.
Two men who were swept away in a flash flood in the Swarnamukhi were rescued by relief teams on Tuesday night. One of them slipped into the Swarnamukhi causeway and the other had jumped in to rescue him. They held on to shrubbery until rescue teams arrived to thrown them a rope.
Rumours arose in Chittoor district that a secret tunnel dating back to Tipu Sultan’s time was discovered when ground caved in near the Gurramkonda fort in Madanapalle division on Wednesday. Archaeology official rushed over to find that the earth did subside leaving a 30-feet deep pit but it was an old well and not a tunnel.