Flood situation grim in Andhra, toll rises to 53

August 10th, 2008 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 10 (IANS) The flood situation in Andhra Pradesh continued to be grim Sunday with continuous rains claiming as many as 53 lives over the past five days. Weather officials have predicted more showers. Heavy rains and flash floods since Tuesday caused widespread devastation in Hyderabad and eight other districts in coastal Andhra and the Telangana region. Around 40 people have died since Friday and hundreds have been rendered homeless. Thirteen people had died between Tuesday and Friday.

More than 50 residential colonies in Hyderabad and dozens of villages in the eight districts remain under water as several rivulets and water tanks were either overflowing or have breached.

Normal life came to a grinding halt in the affected districts. With some roads under water, vehicular traffic between major towns remained paralysed. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada and the Bhadrachalam-Vijayawada roads.

The Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning centre said that heavy rains were likely in north coastal Andhra and Telangana. The low pressure area over Bay of Bengal turned into a well marked depression and lay centred close to the Orissa coast.

Some places are likely to receive more than 25 cm of rainfall. During the last two days, places like Hyderabad received over 15 cm rainfall.

Authorities have warned people living in low-lying areas to move to safer places while fishermen were advised not to venture out to the sea.

Officials have termed the situation “quite serious” as Kapra dam in Guntur district breached, threatening low-lying areas.

The water level in Vamsadhara and Nagavali rivers in Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra has been rising alarmingly due to heavy inflows from neighbouring Orissa.

The floods have damaged several houses and crops over thousands of acres. Minister for Revenue and Relief Dharmana Prasad Rao said that assessing the loses incurred would take time as the rains were still continuing.

Hyderabad bore the brunt of the natural calamity with 14 people losing their lives, mostly in house collapses. As many as 52 residential areas in and around the state capital were inundated as 20 tanks and several major storm water drains overflowing.

Boats were pressed into service in the city Saturday to rescue people from marooned areas.

Although the rains receded since Saturday night, hundreds of houses remained under water. The water level in the Hussain Sagar in the heart of the city rose alarmingly due to heavy inflows.

The level in this 400-year-old old lake, which has a capacity of up to 515 feet, has crossed 513 feet.

Several areas along the outflow channel are facing threat of inundation as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corp (GHMC) let out the water. Water was flowing over the bridges on the outflow channel, bringing traffic to a standstill. The water level in the Musi river, which flows through the city, is also on the rise.

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