Five days of rain leave 29 dead in Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad, Oct 26 : Seven more people died as heavy rain continued in coastal Andhra Pradesh for the fifth day Saturday. The death toll in the state is now 29, officials said.

Hundreds of villages remain inundated. Incessant rain, on account of the low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal and the vigorous northeast monsoon, has been lashing parts of the state for nearly a week.

The Krishna and Musi rivers are in spate. Rivulets and tanks are overflowing and low-lying areas have been inundated. Several villages in 16 districts are cut off from the rest of the state.

The rains have hit normal life and badly affected road and rail transport.

Vehicular traffic on the Vijayawada-Hyderabad highway was diverted through Khammam district. Roads in Nalgonda district were submerged. Trains entering the state capital were also diverted through alternate routes as railway tracks in Nalgonda were submerged.

The 29 deaths were reported from nine districts.

Prakasam district accounted for six deaths while five people were killed in Guntur. Two people were missing in Viskhapatnam district.

Officials said 3,230 villages in 16 districts were affected by the rain. Over 72,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas and shifted to 178 relief camps.

In Srikakulam district alone, 56,000 people were evacuated.

Twelve teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were engaged in relief operations in the affected districts.

More than 6,500 houses were damaged in the rain. Over 400 minor irrigation tanks were also damaged.

Officials said 753 kms of roads and crops spread over 5.64 lakh hectares were damaged.

The damaged crops include paddy in over 2.91 lakh hectares, cotton in 2.33 lakh hectares, groundnut in 0.09 lakh hectares, redgram on 0.04 lakh hectares, maize on 0.07 lakh hectares and horticulture in 32,673 hectares.

The met office has forecast rain at most places over coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Telangana over the next 48 hours.

"Heavy to very heavy rain at a few places with extremely heavy rain at isolated places would occur in all the districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana during the next 48 hours," a statement quoting the met office said.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy directed officials to take up rescue, relief and restoration work on a war footing.

--IANS (Posted on 26-10-2013)

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