Rain, floods kill 48 people in Andhra, Odisha and Bengal
Hyderabad/Bhubaneshwar/Kolkata: Incessant rain has claimed as many as 29 lives in Andhra Pradesh during the past four days while more than 72,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas.
The rain and flood-battered southern state is unlikely to get respite anytime soon as the Met department has forecast heavy downpour in the next 48 hours.
According to an official note from the commissioner, disaster management, more than 72,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in nine districts. Also, crops spread over 5.64 lakh hectares and 6,597 houses had been damaged.
The government has set up 178 relief camps in nine districts, including 36 in Srikakulam.
Hundreds of villages across Andhra Pradesh remained submerged, while road and rail routes were affected as the rain fury continued on Friday.
Rain-related incidents like drowning and wall collapse have claimed 29 lives so far. Prakasam district accounted for the maximum deaths at six, followed by Guntur (5), Mahabubnagar (4), Hyderabad, Kurnool (3 each), Vizianagaram, East Godavari, Nalgonda and Warangal (2 each), the statement said.
Besides, two people have been reported missing in Visakhapatnam district.
River Krishna was in spate following which 3.15 lakh cusecs of water is being discharged into Bay of Bengal from Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada. Vast stretches of Vijayawada-Hyderabad Highway were submerged in floodwaters, leading to traffic diversion.
Rail track at Bommayipalli on the Secunderabad-Guntur section was damaged and repairs were being carried out. All important trains on this route are being diverted via Warangal and Vijayawada, official sources said.
The East Coast Railway has cancelled Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru Prasanthi Express and Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam Express trains due to heavy rains. The Puri-Tirupati Express and Coromandel Express also stands cancelled, they said.
A dozen teams of National Disaster Response Force are carrying out relief operations in Srikakulam, Guntur, West Godavari, Nalgonda, Prakasam and Mahbubnagar, they added.
Vehicular traffic has been thrown out of gear as 900 km road stretch has been marooned. As many as 117 minor irrigation tanks were damaged in the rain-ravaged districts. Tens of village tanks have suffered breaches inundating settlements and crops.
Odisha flood situation grim, 16 dead
In Odisha, at least 16 people have died in flood-related incidents where the situation remained grim even as major rivers were receding on Saturday.
Two deaths each were reported from Bhadrak, Jajpur and Nayagarh districts while in worst-hit Ganjam district it remained unchanged at six and four in Jagatsinghpur, special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra told reporters here after the situation was reviewed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
"All the deaths were due to wall collapse and drowning," Mohapatra said. "Major rivers like Rusikulya, Godahada and Vansadhara were flowing below the danger mark," he added.
The chief minister said that the incessant rains and floods have caused severe damage to public and private property and standing crop.
He announced three-day relief for the affected people as per provisions under the relief code. It would be distributed in Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts, SRC office sources said.
"Two of the three helicopters used for rescue operations in Ganjam district would return to base shortly with the remaining one to be retained for relief operations," the relief commissioner said. Relief teams could now approach inundated areas in boats, he added.
Over 5.32 lakh people in 2,276 villages were affected by the floods, while about 1.47 lakh people were evacuated. Of the 129 villages inundated in Ganjam district by flash flood on Friday, water receded in its 69 villages.
An IMD bulletin said that heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over the next 48 hours at one or two places over Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawarangpur, Rayagada, Gajapati and Kalahandi districts and heavy rainfall at one or two places over north Odisha.
Railway sources said that the Konark Express from Bhubaneswar to Mumbai would resume from the day as water has receded from the tracks.