17 people have died after Nilam wreaked havoc in 14 districts of Andhra Pradesh, leaving a trail of destruction and chaos due to heavy rainfall.
Several areas received heavy rains up to as high as 25-30 cm in the last 24 hours, throwing the normal life out of gear. Hundreds of rivulets, streams and tanks were overflowing, causing a heavy damage to roads, railway bridges and houses in the low-lying areas. Several residential localities in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Eluru, Vijayawada, Guntur and Ongole were submerged in water all through the day.
While Narasapur in West Godavari district recorded a maximum of 31 cm of rain, Amalapuram and Rajahmundry in East Godavari district received 27 and 25 cm of rain each. Similarly, Yelamanchili and Chodavaram in Visakhapatnam district recorded a rainfall of 25 cm and 23 cm respectively.
The officials of the Cyclone Warning Centre in Visakhapatnam announced that there would be heavy to very heavy rains for another 48 hours in the coastal Andhra, besides moderate to heavy rains in the Telangana districts bordering the coastal areas. “The Cyclone Nilam has transformed into depression over the coastal Andhra and Telangana. Adding to this depression, the north-east monsoon has been very active in the region, causing heavy rains,” the CWC officials said.
As the district authorities in the coastal areas are struggling to minimise the damage to lives and properties and the disaster management department authorities are working round the clock to monitor the situation, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy preferred to fly to New Delhi on Saturday evening to participate in the Congress party’s rally at Ram Lila grounds in support of reforms on Sunday.
The opposition parties lashed out at the indifferent attitude of the chief minister in attending to the flood relief works. “It is unfortunate that Kiran left the people of the state in lurch and chose to spend time in attending PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana’s daughter and participating in the political rally of the Congress,” Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu said. He announced that he would take a break in his padayatra in Mahbubnagar district and undertake a visit to the flood ravaged areas in the coastal Andhra on Monday.
The Chief Minister’s Office, however, claimed that Kiran had reviewed the floor situation through a teleconference from New Delhi and gave instructions to the officials to take up the relief works on war footing.
According to the disaster management department officials, out of 17 deaths reported so far, three persons died due to electrocution and another three persons died of wall collapse and the remaining got drowned in floods in various places. So far, 36 relief camps have been set up and 6,382 families comprising 19,421 people have been shifted to these camps, where the officials are providing drinking water and food to the victims.
As many as 480 houses were fully damaged and another 766 houses were partially damaged. At least 16 tanks were breached, 449 electricity poles fell and 413 km of roads were damaged. Most of the damage to standing crops was done in East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts, the official said.
The South Central Railway announced diversion of several trains as water was flowing above the danger mark at a railway bridge between Tuni-Gullipadu on Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam section. The SCR has cancelled 12 trains, including Ratnachal Express, and partially cancelled another two, besides diverting and rescheduling several trains between Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
Meanwhile, Jet Airways cancelled its Rajahmundry- Bangalore, Rajahmundry-Chennai and Rajahmundry-Hyderabad flight. India Today