Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Flood - India (Andhra Pradesh) OCT

Heavy rains continued to batter south coastal Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday as the death toll in the flash floods under the impact of low pressure over the Bay of Bengal rose to 14.

The worst-hit districts of Nellore and Prakasam as well as Chittoor and Kadpa continued to receive heavy rains for the second consecutive day on Tuesday as the flash floods wreaked havoc, inundating dozens of villages, damaging crops and disrupting road and rail traffic in the region.

As many as 50,000 people from low-lying areas have been evacuated and shifted to about 50 relief camps set up by authorities in the four districts.

In Kadapa district, all-night efforts with rescue teams summoned from Chennai and Bangalore brought to safety 18 passengers of an RTC bus.

Two home guards who went in to rescue were among four people found dead.

''According to the bus conductor, there are dead bodies in the bus of a lady and a man,'' said M T Krishna Babu, Collector, Kadapa district.

Nearly one hundred relief camps have been opened in Nellore district, that has borne the fury of the northeast monsoon. And the over 32000 people taking shelter in the camps cannot return home immediately as the Met department has predicted more rain.

''All low-lying areas are flooded. We evacuated people living there to shelters and are looking after their food requirements,'' said M Ravichandra, Collector, Nellore district.

Road traffic has been affected in several areas. The South Central Railway cancelled 20 Express trains on Monday and five on Tuesday.

About a dozen buses, trucks and other vehicles were caught in flash floods in the affected districts. Local authorities rescued most of the people travelling in these vehicles.

However, four members of a marriage party travelling in a private bus were washed away near Naidupeta in Nellore when the vehicle was caught in swirling waters.

Villagers rescued four people by a boat but four others drowned when the bus turned upside down and was washed away.

Rivulets, streams and tanks are overflowing in the four districts due to heavy rains and flash floods, which have damaged standing crops over a large area.

Meanwhile, weathermen have forecast more rains in south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalseema and north coastal Tamil Nadu due to the low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal.

Officials said strong winds with a speed of 40 to 50 km per hour were blowing along the coast. The fishermen have been warned against venturing into the sea, which remained rough.

Heavy rains and floods have claimed over 100 lives in two spells in the state since June. Andhra Pradesh has a coastline of over 1,000 km that has seen repeated floods, storms and cyclones in recent times. (With Agency inputs) - Source

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