A flood alert has been issued for districts around the Krishna and Godavari rivers in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after the meteorological department forecast more rains for the next four days.
Administration in five Telangana districts were put on high alert and evacuation of low-lying areas in riparian towns and villages was ordered since the rivers are in full spate from heavy rains.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao held a review meeting and ordered the state machinery to be alert for any eventuality across vulnerable areas.
“The meeting of the sate cabinet scheduled to take place tomorrow (Monday) has been cancelled due to heavy rains. CM KCR asked all ministers to stay in their respective districts to oversee the relief measures being carried out in the wake of incessant rains,” officials from the chief minister’s office said.
Rains in the past four days wreaked havoc in the two states, claiming 25 lives in total. Sixteen death occurred in the relatively new state of Telangana, mostly in the districts of Medak and Warangal. Across the border in Andhra Pradesh, nine people died, many in Guntur.
On Sunday, a 35-year-old woman was washed away in flash floods in Manjeera river while a youngster was caught in the current while crossing a stream, both in Medak.
Such has been the rainfall that for the first time in nearly a decade, most reservoirs in the two states are at full capacity, with dams gates being opened to handle the volume. Water from dams in Maharashtra have been released as well.
Rescue and relief operations are being carried out by teams from the army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Indian Air Force (IAF).
On Sunday, two IAF Chetak helicopters airlifted 23 construction workers stranded on an island at Edupayala village in Medak district. The sorties was undertaken from the Hakimpet air force station in Hyderabad and was coordinated by wing commander P Surendran, the chief operations officer at the Begumpet air force station, also in Hyderabad. With more rains expected, the choppers have been kept on standby.
Meanwhile, several army teams helped out in flood-hit areas such as Nizampet, Kukatpally, Chintal, Alwal, Qutbullapur, Alwyn Colony, Patigadda and Begumpet.
In Andhra Pradesh, nine flood rescue teams comprising 309 rescuers equipped with 32 inflatable rubber boats and communication equipment were positioned at various rain-affected areas, including Piduguralla, Narsaraopet and Amravati in Guntur district, as well as Vizag, Srikakulam and Nellore districts.
But the trouble remains with two rivers Krishna and Godavari that flow from Maharashtra and through both the states. Bigger dams including Sriramsagar, Nizamsagar, Yellampalli, Manair, Singur and Manjira dams reached their full capacity, with water being released downstream. In the Krishna basin, except for Nagarjunasagar, other reservoirs such as Jurala, Srisailam and Pulichintala also filled up.
(With inputs from agencies)