Heavy rains lashed Hyderabad, turning several residential localities into virtual cess pools and bringing normal life to a grinding halt.
The downpour which started at around 10pm on Tuesday night continued till early on Wednesday. But after a few hours of respite, it resumed in the afternoon. Qutbullapur on the city outskirts received the maximum rainfall of 16.4 cm, while several other areas recorded rainfall ranging from 3 to 12 cm in five to six hours.
Hussainsagar Lake in the heart of the city reached its full reservoir level of 514.3 ft, with inflows crossing 4,000 cusecs, forcing authorities to lift all sluice gates. This resulted in several colonies downstream being flooded.
The heavy rains also caused overflowing of storm water drains, wreaking havoc in densely-populated localities such as Kukatpally, Miyapur, Nizampet, Begumpet and Alwal. Several tanks on the city outskirts were breached and water entered into residential dwellings. In prime localities like Begumpet, Punjagutta, Sanathnagar and Kukatpally, water entered the cellars of several apartments submerging vehicles and confining residents to their apartments.
It was a nightmare for thousands of software employees who were stuck in traffic jams while trying to reach offices in the IT hub of Madhapur, Kondapur and Gachibowli. Roads in these areas were also heavily damaged due to the rain. At Secretariat on the banks of Hussainsagar, the main road caved, causing another traffic situation.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s office said the army and disaster management teams had been called on to help stranded people.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) commissioner, G Janardhan Reddy, also said people could call on National Disaster Response teams to rescue them by boat.
Reddy further asked locals to avoid coming out of their homes in the wake of a heavy rain forecast for the next 24 hours. Traffic police also appealed to locals to avoid using four-wheelers.
To help mitigate the situation, Rangareddy district collector declared a holiday for private and government schools in Balanagar, Qutbullapur, Malkajgiri and Serilingampally mandals.
Chief minister Rao, who is in New Delhi to attend the Apex Council meeting convened by Union Water Resources Ministry, reviewed the situation with GHMC authorities. He asked officials to take necessary steps to evacuate those in low lying areas if required.
(With inputs from agencies)