Press Trust of India
Hyderabad/Bhubaneshwar, 26 October
Incessant rains and floods have claimed as many as 45 lives in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, with hundreds of villages submerged in nearly 30 districts and road and rail links disrupted in the region.
Three persons were also killed in heavy rains in south Bengal with normal life thrown out of gear in Kolkata and adjacent districts.
The rain and flood-battered Andhra Pradesh, where 29 people have been killed in the last four days, is unlikely to get respite anytime soon as the Met department has forecast heavy downpour in the next 48 hours in the state as also in many Odisha districts and south Bengal.
At least 16 people have died in flood-related incidents in Odisha, where the situation remained grim despite major rivers receding.
As many as 3,230 villages in 16 districts of Andhra Prdesh were badly affected due to torrential rains and 6,600 houses damaged, Disaster Management Commissioner T Radha said.
He said 405 minor irrigation tanks and 935 km road stretch had been damaged while breaches occurred in canals in different districts inundating settlements and crops.
More than 72,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in nine districts Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshmi Narayana said crops in 6.77 lakh hectares of land had been damaged.
The government has set up 178 relief camps in the nine districts, including 36 in Srikakulam. Prakasam district accounted for the maximum deaths in Andhra Pradesh at six, followed by Guntur (five), Mahabubnagar (four), Hyderabad, Kurnool (three each), Vizianagaram, East Godavari, Nalgonda and Warangal (two each). Besides, two persons have been reported missing in Visakhapatnam district.
A flood alert has been sounded due to rising water level in river Krishna.
In Odisha, two deaths each were reported from Bhadrak, Jajpur and Nayagarh districts, Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra told reporters in Bhubaneshwar after the situation was reviewed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
In worst-hit Ganjam district, the death toll remained at six and was four in Jagatsinghpur. “All the deaths were due to wall collapse and drowning,” Mohapatra said. Major rivers like Rusikulya, Godahada and Vansadhara were flowing below the danger mark .
Over 5.32 lakh people in 2,276 villages in 13 districts were affected by the floods in Odisha, while about 1.47 lakh people were evacuated, officials said.
Of the 129 villages inundated in Ganjam district by flash flood yesterday, water had receded in 69 villages.
An IMD bulletin said that heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over the next 48 hours at one or two places over Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawarangpur, Rayagada, Gajapati and Kalahandi districts and heavy rainfall at one or two places over north Odisha.
Vast stretches of Vijayawada-Hyderabad Highway were submerged in floodwaters, leading to traffic diversion. Rail track at Bommayipalli on the Secunderabad-Guntur section was damaged and repairs were being carried out. All important trains on this route are being diverted via Warangal and Vijayawada, official sources said.
The East Coast Railway has cancelled Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru Prasanthi Express and Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam Express trains due to heavy rains. The Puri-Tirupati Express and Coromandel Express also stands cancelled, they said.
In West Bengal, Sanjoy Mondal and his son Ashis were killed after a balcony of an old house collapsed on Cotton Street in Kolkata, which received the season’s highest of 140 mm rainfall.
A woman, Dulai Mohanta, died in a wall collapse at Bhurigram in Burdwan district.
Widespread showers lashed Durgapur in Burdwan district, which reported 112-114 mm of rain.
Purulia district reported 65 mm of rain which affected Bagmundi, Jhalda and Jaypore blocs.
Altogether, 1,334 huts collapsed in the rains in Burdwan district, district disaster management sources said.
Bankura District Magistrate Bijoy Bharati said the rains affected Barjora, Sonamukhi, Patrasayar, and Mejia blocks while the Kangasabati river crossed the danger level.