At least 10 bus passengers were caught in flash floods in Kurnool and Chittoor districts in Andhra Pradesh on Friday as heavy rains lashed several parts of the state.
Officials said one bus was caught in the floodwaters in Orvakallu stream in Kurnool district while the other was stranded in Mumbalapalli in Chittoor.
Authorities in Kurnool rescued 18 passengers while three others who perched on top of the vehicle were waiting for help. Seven passengers were caught in a similar condition in Chittoor.
Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy has directed officials to immediately send helicopters in the two districts to rescue the passengers.
A statement from the chief minister's office said he had asked the commissioner of disaster management and district collectors to remain alert to evacuate people from low-lying areas.
Hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on highways in the coastal region and in Kurnool and Mahabubnagar, which have been receiving incessant rains for the last 24 hours.
Officials said no deaths were reported from any of the affected areas. Telugu television channels reported that eight people died due to lightening while 15 were missing. Five people died of lightening in Nizamabad district and three in Guntur district.
Six workers engaged in the construction of Gangavaram port and nine fishermen, who had gone into sea near Kakinada, were reported missing.
Low-pressure areas in the Bay of Bengal, which crossed the coast near Kakinada in East Godavari district, triggered heavy rains in south coastal Andhra Pradesh and parts of Telangana and Rayalseema. Weather office has forecast more rains in the next 36 hours.
Authorities have set up control rooms in all districts to monitor the situation.
Andhra Pradesh has over 1,000-km-long coast and the nine coastal districts are vulnerable to floods, storms and cyclones.
Meanwhile, heavy rains and official apathy in the city claimed the life of a nine-year-old boy who was drowned in an open manhole in Hyderabad on Friday, a day after another child was washed away in an open drain.