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Andhra floods: 58 dead; 200,000 homeless

With heavy rains continuing, officials fear the situation might worsen further.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2005 04:29 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

The death toll in rains and floods in Andhra Pradesh climbed to 58 on Wednesday as thousands are being evacuated from marooned villages and towns in the coastal region.

The authorities have also pressed helicopters in relief operations in the worst hit areas. They are dropping food packets to the hungry.

While the water level in Godavari has slightly come down, providing some respite to Khammam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts, several areas in Krishna and Guntur districts remain submerged due to heavy rains.

Hundreds of villages in north and south coastal Andhra are marooned due to heavy rains over the last three days and the swollen Krishna and Godavari rivers.

While officials said they were gathering details about the people affected by floods, the number left homeless is estimated at 200,000.

Dozens of trains between Hyderabad and coastal cities and towns and also between southern Indian cities and New Delhi have been cancelled or diverted.

Bus services between Hyderabad and coastal cities have also been cancelled. For the third consecutive day, all flights from the coastal town of Visakhapatnam were cancelled as the runway remained under water.

Authorities evacuated people in Khammam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts. More than 50,000 people have been shifted to safe places and relief camps since Tuesday.

Not only the villages by the flooding rivers, but even large parts of towns and cities were also submerged.

They include the state's commercial capital Vijayawada in Krishna district; the pilgrim town Bhadrachalam in Khammam; Eluru in West Godavari and Rajhamundry in East Godavari.

West Godavari and East Godavari accounted for 15 and seven deaths respectively. Eight people were killed in Krishna, and seven people died in Khammam.

Two casualties were reported from Guntur and six from Warangal. Casualties were also reported from Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Mahabubnagar, Medak and Nalgonda districts.

About 50 villages in Konaseema region in Godavari districts are under water. Police and civil officials are using boats to rescue people.

With water level in Prakasam barrage near Vijayawada city reaching the danger mark, parts of the city have come under water. In some areas only rooftops are visible.

Authorities had evacuated more than 30,000 people before these areas were marooned.

The transport system in coastal region remained paralysed for the second successive day. Traffic has come to standstill on National Highway 9, which connects Hyderabad to Vijayawada.

First Published: Sep 21, 2005 10:31 IST