Flood situation eases in Andhra Pradesh, 52 dead | india | Hindustan Times
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Flood situation eases in Andhra Pradesh, 52 dead

india Updated: Oct 06, 2009 21:12 IST

The flood situation in Andhra Pradesh improved on Tuesday after killing 52 people, with water inflows coming down at the Prakasam barrage across the Krishna river and providing some respite to Vijayawada city and over 200 villages inundated downstream.

Though the river breached its embankment at two places in Krishna and Guntur districts flooding about 30 villages, officials said there was no major threat to the embankment.

Stating that the worst was ever, Revenue and Relief Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao told reporters in the evening that there was no possibility of further flood threat to Krishna and Guntur districts.

"The highest inflows at Prakasam barrage earlier in the day were 10.9 lakh cusecs of water. It has now come down to 10.6 lakh cusecs of water. It will only come down further," he said.

This will be a big relief to the administration, which was worried over the safety of the embankments and feared inundation of more villages in the two coastal districts.

The floods, billed as the worst in 100 years, have claimed 63 lives. The calamity inundated 565 villages in five districts and affected 1.62 million people. About 70,000 houses were damaged. The minister said some 20,000 cattle also perished.

Earlier, flood waters due to breaches submerged dozens of island villages near where the swollen Krishna falls into the Bay of Bengal. Though most people had moved to safety, many were rescued by boats, averting a major tragedy.

Authorities in the Krishna and Guntur districts have evacuated 250,000 people from over 200 villages and parts of Vijayawada city.

The loss of life was minimised as officials had adequate time to evacuate people after Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts were flooded upstream Oct 2.

Kurnool and Mahabubnagar, battered by floods last week, also got a respite as water flow has almost stopped from dams in neighbouring Karnataka.

The inflows at Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects have considerably decreased, enabling authorities to focus on relief and rehabilitation in Kurnool, Mantralayam and Nandyal towns as well as villages that bore the maximum brunt.

The destruction to infrastructure and crops has been massive. Initial estimates put the loss at Rs 12,225 crore. The 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.