rains continued to batter coastal Andhra Pradesh Sunday, claiming
22 lives, inundating hundreds of villages, paralysing road and
rail traffic and damaging crops.
The rains triggered by northeast monsoon and Cyclone Nilam, which
crossed the coast near Chennai Wednesday, have so far killed 22
people, said T. Radha, commissioner, disaster management.
About 60,000 people from affected areas were shifted to 86 relief
camps. Incessant rains in eight districts of Andhra Pradesh have
damaged 480 houses completely and 766 houses partially. Standing
crops in over 250,000 hectares were also damaged.
In East Godavari district, one of the worst-hit by flash floods,
seven deaths were reported while about 30,000 people were shifted
to relief camps.
Over 500 villages in the district were marooned due to overflowing
rivulets, tanks, streams and reservoirs. As many as 72 tanks were
breached in the coastal district, inundating dozens of villages,
which were without electricity.
In Visakhapatnam district, passengers of two buses were stranded
in flood waters in a stream. Authorities have sought help from the
Navy to rescue the passengers.
East Godavari, West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts were the
worst hit by the rains, which left a trail of destruction and
brought road and rail services to a halt.
The railways suspended all train services between coastal city of
Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at railway stations as train
movement was thrown out of gear between Vijayawada and
Visakhapatnam -- the two major rail transit hubs in coastal Andhra
The railways have either cancelled or diverted trains due to
flooding of tracks in East Godavari, West Godavari and
Visakhapatnam districts, officials said.
Trains between Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and other cities in
south India and the destinations in Orissa and West Bengal were
also hit. Several trains from Howrah, Bhubaneswar and other
destinations were running several hours late and stranded in
Vehicular traffic was also severely affected in the region with
many stretches and national highways coming under water. The
state-owned road transport corporation suspended bus services
between several coastal cities.
Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on Chennai-Kolkatta highway at
Rajanagarm, Annavaram and Tuni in East and West Godavari
Water entered houses in several colonies of Rajahmundry, a
historic town in East Godavari.
Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) shifted 3,000
people from flooded areas of Eluru town in West Godavari. The
rescue workers were arranging large number of sandbags to prevent
In the coastal city of Visakhapatnam, normal life came to a halt
due to incessant rains for the fourth day.
Main roads in the city have turned into pools. Officials from
Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, revenue and police
departments were busy in rescue and relief operations.
People in the area described it as the worst disaster in two
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was in New Delhi, talked
to top officials over phone and reviewed the situation, and
directed them to take all necessary measures to help people in the
Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan said the government would stand by
farmers in this hour of distress.
"The government will provide all possible help to farmers and
other affected people," he told reporters.
With Met Office forecasting more rains, officials have been asked
to take precautionary measures and evacuate people from low-lying
areas. Leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu decided to
suspend his ongoing 'padyatra' to visit flood-hit districts