The government on Monday launched one of the biggest flood relief and rescue operations in India, in the wake of torrential rains that left 280 dead and more than 2.5 million homeless in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
More than 50 villages in Andhra on either side of the Krishna river are inundated. The river, which has left a trail of destruction in central Andhra’s Mahbubnagar and Kurnool districts, is now threatening coastal Guntur and Krishna.
With the floodgates of the Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar hydel reservoirs open, 11 lakh cusecs (cubic foot per second, a measure of water flow) reached Prakasam Barrage near Vijayawada, 340 km east of Hyderabad. “Almost half the city is under water,” said businessman Arvind Kumar, 46.
Andhra Chief Minister K. Rosaiah said the floods had killed 52 people in his state.
As many as 714 National Disaster Response Force personnel have been deployed. Kurnool, with 28 deaths, is the worst hit, followed by Mahbubnagar (17).
In Karnataka, the army has sent in 12 special boats and personnel armed with digging instruments and lifejackets.
|Residents wade through floodwaters in Mullapadu village, Andhra Pradesh.|
In Andhra, the estimated the damage was Rs 12,225 crore.
The floods have claimed 34 lives in Maharashtra.