The flood situation in Andhra Pradesh continued to be grim on Tuesday as the Krishna river breached its embankment at a few places, inundating dozens of villages in Krishna and Guntur districts. The floods, billed as the worst in 100 years, have claimed 52 lives and affected over 1.6 million people.
The flood waters entered dozens of island villages in Krishna and Guntur near the point where the river falls into the Bay of Bengal. Though majority of the people had already moved to safer places, authorities rescued the remaining people through boats, averting a major tragedy.
Residents of other villages facing threat of inundation are being warned to move immediately to safer places.
The authorities in the two districts have already evacuated 250,000 people from over 200 villages and parts of Vijayawada city, which too faces a threat due to the rising level in Prakasam barrage.
However, the loss of life was minimised as authorities had adequate time to evacuate people after massive floods hit Kurnool and Mahbubnagar districts upstream Oct 2.
The water level in Prakasam barrage in Vijayawada city Tuesday rose to 21.9 feet against its full reservoir level of 23 feet. The inflows reached a record 1.13 million cusecs while the discharges into the sea was at 1.08 million, threatening the villages downstream.
Areas upstream have already come under six to seven feet water. The Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway is also submerged, disrupting traffic between the two cities.
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah Tuesday held a teleconference with collectors of five flood-hit districts and asked officials of Krishna and Guntur districts to be on alert for the next 36 hours and monitor the situation at embankments closely.
Kurnool and Mahbubnagar, battered by massive floods last week, got a respite as water flow had almost stopped from dams in neighbouring Karnataka. The inflows at Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects have considerably decreased, enabling authorities to now focus on relief and rehabilitation in Kurnool, Mantralayam, Nandyal towns and villages, which bore the maximum brunt.
The floods have so far claimed 52 lives, affected over 1.6 million people in five districts and rendered half a million people homeless. While 28 people were killed in the worst-hit Kurnool district, 17 died in Mahbubnagar. The remaining deaths were reported from Krishna (3), Nalgonda (3) and Guntur (1).
The destruction to infrastructure and crops has been massive. Initial estimates put the loss at Rs.12,225 crore. The state government has urged the centre to declare the floods a national calamity and provide an immediate assistance of Rs 6,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation.