Rains batter Andhra Pradesh, toll rises to 42 (Second Lead)

August 9th, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 9 (IANS) Boats were out in this Andhra Pradesh capital Saturday to rescue people from marooned areas as the flood situation in the state turned serious due to continuous rains that have claimed 42 lives since Tuesday. Two boats of the tourism department were pressed into service in Nadeem Colony in the capital to rescue people trapped in the inundated neighborhood.

With the water level in the Hussain Sagar lake, which divides Hyderabad and its twin city Secunderabad, rising alarmingly, authorities let out the water. The level in the lake crossed 513 feet against its capacity of 515 feet.

With heavy rains continuing to lash the city, the authorities appealed to the people in low-lying areas to move out to safer places. They also appealed to people not to venture out on the roads unless it was very essential.

Meanwhile, incessant rains caused by a windstorm in the Bay of Bengal, continued to play havoc in the capital and other parts of Andhra Pradesh, killing at least 29 people since Friday night.

Ten people were killed in three incidents of house collapse here as rain inundated dozens of residential areas and threw vehicular traffic out of gear.

Five deaths were reported from the coastal district of Krishna, four from West Godavari, three each from Medak and Guntur, two from Visakhaptnam and one each from Nalgonda and Karimnagar.

With this, the death toll in heavy rains and flash floods since Tuesday rose to 42.

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 chief minister directed all the departments to be on alert to tackle any situation. He also ordered cancellation of week-end holidays and leaves of all officials.

The windstorm over northwest and adjoining westcentral 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 situation is quite serious,” Priyadarshini, additional commissioner, disaster management, told IANS. She said the entire Telangana region and coastal districts were badly hit by the heavy rains.

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 off 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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