Andhra flood toll rises to 74

August 11th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 11 (IANS) The toll in the floods that have wreaked havoc in Andhra Pradesh since last week rose to 74 Monday, with the recovery of the body of one of at least 35 people who were washed away with their in floodwaters. The police said the body was fished out from an overflowing rivulet in Guntur district. While 10 people were rescued immediately after the truck got washed away Sunday, 10 bodies were found later. Search was still continuing for the other missing persons.

Fire fighters, policemen and local divers were involved in the search operations. Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy visited the accident site, about 300 km from here, and also met the survivors who were admitted to a hospital.

Reddy also conducted an aerial survey of West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts, where heavy rains and flash floods had left a trail of destruction.

Heavy monsoon rains since Tuesday have triggered flash floods in the state capital and nine other districts.

K. Ratna Prabha, commissioner of disaster management, said 61 people have been killed since Friday. She told reporters that 40,000 people had taken shelter in relief camps set up in seven districts.

Though rains have let up since Sunday, the rivers and rivulets were still in spate. Dozens of residential areas in Hyderabad and villages in affected districts remained under water.

Officials said the rains and breach in over 800 water tanks had damaged over 3,000 houses and crops in over 170,000 hectares of land. In West Godavari district alone, crops in over 70,000 acres of land had been damaged.

Transport services were paralysed in some areas as 700 km of roads were damaged by rains. All schools in Hyderabad, Warangal and other affected towns and villages remained closed Monday.

Officials in coastal districts of Andhra and Telangana remained on high alert as weatherman has forecast more rains under the influence of low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal.

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