Flood toll rises to 13 in Andhra Pradesh

August 6th, 2008 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 6 (IANS) The death toll due to heavy rains and flash floods in Andhra Pradesh rose to 13 WEdnesday while several villages remained inundated and the Godavari River in spate. The authorities were on alert in Khammam district as the Godavari river crossed the first danger mark of 43 feet in the temple town of Bhadrachalam. People living in low-lying areas along the river were being evacuated as rains continued for the fourth consecutive day. The level Wednesday stood at 46 feet and is likely to rise further.

Officials said 33 villages along the river were inundated. Authorities have already evacuated 1,000 families to safe places.

Two villages remained marooned in Asifabad revenue division of Adilabad, the worst-hit district. Authorities have already evacuated people from some villages by using motor boats.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting here Wednesday and directed the officials to monitor the situation closely and take up evacuation from all low-lying areas.

The heavy rains and flash floods have claimed 13 lives, including four children, during the last three days. Ratnaprabha, commissioner for disaster management, told newsmen that four people each were killed in Adilabad and East Godavari districts. Three deaths were reported from Khammam while West Godavari and Warangal districts accounted for a death each.

The chief minister announced a compensation of Rs. 100,000 each to the kin of those killed.

The official said heavy rains damaged 1,664 houses and crop over 44,000 hectares.

Taking a serious note of the breach of Palem vagu reservoir built under the ambitious Jalayagnam programme in Khammam district, the chief minister asked the irrigation department to take utmost care in quality control and insist on expert third-party inspection.

The reservoir built at a cost of Rs.710 million breached Monday, inundating 15 villages.

The officials told the chief minister that a subterranean fault (a geological phenomena) was suspected to have led to the breach.

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