Heavy rains kill 23 in Andhra Pradesh (Lead)

August 9th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 9 (IANS) Heavy rains and flash floods caused widespread havoc in the state capital and other parts of Andhra Pradesh, killing at least 23 people, officials said Saturday. Nine people were killed in three incidents of house collapse here as incessant rain since Friday night inundated dozens of residential areas and threw vehicular traffic out of gear.

Four deaths were reported from the coastal district of Krishna, three each from Medak and West Godavari, two from Guntur and one each from Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy.

With this, the death toll in heavy rains and flash floods since Tuesday rose to 36.

Heavy rains continued in most parts of the state under the influence of low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal, leading to flash floods. As water levels of several rivers rose sharply, authorities began evacuating people from low-lying areas.

With the meteorological department warning of heavy rains over the next two days, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy asked officials to be on high alert and deploy tourism department boats for evacuation.

The low pressure area over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal off Orissa and West Bengal coasts is likely to intensify and under its influence, widespread rainfall is likely over coastal Andhra and Telangana over next two days.

The state capital recorded 13.6 cm rainfall Friday, meteorological officials said. The heavy rains resulted in inundation of roads and residential areas, disrupting electricity and communication lines.

Three people were killed when a wall collapsed in Gulzar Houz neighbourhood in the old city area. A couple died in a house collapse in Gokul Plots in Miyapur neighbourhood. A mother and her daughter were killed in another wall collapse in Basvataraka Nagar in Filmnagar area.

Three people died in a house collapse in Medak district in Telangana region while a similar incident in Vijayawada city claimed two lives.

The chief minister cancelled his scheduled visit to Krishna district to review the situation with top officials.

More than 30 villages in Warangal and Krishna districts were cut off due to heavy rains and floods. Roads were washed away by floodwaters in some districts, bringing transport to a halt.

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