Heavy rains lash Andhra, five killed
Hyderabad: Heavy rains continue to lash three districts of Andhra Pradesh, killing at least five people and damaging crops over thousands of acres.
Chittoor, Nellore and Kadapa districts bordering Tamil Nadu received heavy rains for a second day on Tuesday, inundating dozens of villages and disrupting road and rail transport.
The rains, under the impact of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, have resulted in largescale damage to crops in the districts besides wrecking havoc in Tamil Nadu.
All five deaths in Andhra Pradesh were reported from Chittoor while two people were missing.
Flash floods also claimed the lives of 80 cattle and damaged 80 houses. For a second day, all educational institutions in Chittoor district declared a holiday.
River, rivulets, tanks and streams in the affected districts overflowed. In Nellore districts, 40 villages were marooned. Officials said at least 100 tanks have breached.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation with top officials in Vijayawada.
Minister for Municipal Administration P. Narayana told reporters in Nellore that two Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters had been kept ready in Chennai to rescue people stranded by flood waters in Nellore.
The choppers, however, could not take off due to bad weather.
The minister said 10,000 food packets were ready for air drop in the marooned villages. The authorities have shifted 5,000 people to relief camps.
Three teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were pressed into service in Nellore district.
Traffic between Vijayawada and Chennai came to a halt as a part of Chennai-Kolkata national highway washed away in Nellore district.
For a second time in three days, the Mumbai-Nellore highway was breached by authorities to make way for flood water which had entered some villages.
The highway at Naidupeta-Sullurpeta was also flooded, disrupting vehicular traffic between Tirupati and Kanchipuram.
Eight mandals in Chittoor district received 20 cm rainfall during the last 24 hours. Some places in Nellore district received as high as 30 cm rainfall.
East Godavari and West Godavari districts were also receiving heavy rains since Monday night, damaging standing crops.