Andhra Pradesh

With water level rising, focus shifts to evacuation of people

People being evacuated from the islands of river Godavari in Konaseema district on July 14, 2022.

People being evacuated from the islands of river Godavari in Konaseema district on July 14, 2022. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

More than 150 habitations are in the grip of Godavari flood in Konaseema, Eluru, East and West Godavari districts and the officials were trying to evacuate the people as the flood level is rising.

About 30,000 families, including 16,000 in Konaseema, 6,000 in Eluru, 4,200 in West Godavari and thousands of households in Alluri Sitarama Raju (ASR) district, were affected due to Godavari floods, said the district Collectors who were constantly monitoring the flood situation on Thursday.

Polavaram MLA Tellam Balaraju and Eluru Collector V. Prasanna Venkatesh urging the residents of Rudramkota village to shift to the relief camps as flood entered the hamlet on Thursday.

Polavaram MLA Tellam Balaraju and Eluru Collector V. Prasanna Venkatesh urging the residents of Rudramkota village to shift to the relief camps as flood entered the hamlet on Thursday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

According to the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA) officials, the water level at Bhadrachalam crossed 60 feet. Irrigation authorities discharged about 15.82 lakh cusecs from Sir Arthur Cotton (SAC) Barrage, at Dowleswaram, and 15.39 lakh cusecs were released into the sea from Polavaram Project.

Flood level at Polavaram above spillway was 34.65 metres and it was 26.4 metres at the lower spillway, the project officials said.

"The water level at Bhadrachalam may increase further. The discharge from SAC Barrage at Dowleswaram may be around 20 lakh cusecs by tonight,” said the Irrigation authorities.

Konaseema District Collector Himanshu Shukla said that 79 habitations, including the island and river bed villages were affected. About 16,000 families were facing flood in 18, out of 22 mandals in the district.

Tribal people have moved to the tents erected atop a hill near Rapakagommu village in Velerupadu area in Eluru district.

Tribal people have moved to the tents erected atop a hill near Rapakagommu village in Velerupadu area in Eluru district. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“In all, 400 mechanised, country and small boats were kept ready, and we are using about 200 boats for evacuating the villagers now. About 1,000 sarungs (boat drivers) and expert swimmers were pressed into service. Nearly, 2,000 aged and disabled people, 338 pregnant women and 1,200 locals were evacuated so far,” Mr. Shukla told The Hindu on Thursday.

Foot patrolling has been arranged along the river bund and Irrigation officials have been asked to strengthen the bunds to prevent breaches. Officials identified that bunds were weak at Sundarapalli in Kapileswarapuram and Kula villages in Konaseema district, and efforts are on to strengthen them with sand bags, he said.

Generators, medicines, milk, drinking water, food and other material were being supplied at the 79 rehabilitation centres arranged in the district, the Collector said.

Eluru District Collector V. Prasanna Venkatesh, who reviewed the flood situation at Velerupadu said that 16 habitations in Koida and Katukuru mandals were cut-off completely since Wednesday night.

“We are planning to air-drop food, water, milk and medicines. About 1,200 tribal families are staying in the cut-off villages. Locals moved to safer places on the nearby hills,” the Collector said.

"As many as 50 habitations were affected with Godavari floods in Velerupadu, Kukunur and other mandals in Eluru district. Fifteen relief camps and 50 medical camps have been arranged. We are taking up relief and rescue operations with the help of SDRF and NDRF personnel,” Mr. Venkatesh said.

18 villages cut-off

West Godavari district Collector P. Prasanthi said more than 4,200 families were affected due to Godavari floods in Elamanchili, Achanta and Narsapuram mandals. About 70 fuel and country boats were engaged in flood duty to shift the residents to relief camps.

“Eighteen island habitations were cut-off, as the Godavari and its tributaries were in spate for the last four days. Instructions have been given to supply cooked food to the victims and ensure supply of medicines, milk, biscuits and bread for children and patients,” Ms. Prasanthi said.

“All the officers deployed on flood duty were asked to be on high alert, particularly on river and canal bund villages as the flood is rising. We will shift more people to relief centres as the water level is increasing,” the Collector said.


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Printable version | Aug 20, 2022 11:24:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/more-than-30000-families-affected-in-konaseema-eluru-asr-and-wg-districts/article65638442.ece