Floods batter Andhra, Karnataka; 1.5m homeless


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Floods batter Andhra, Karnataka; 1.5m homeless

VIJAYAWADA/BELLARY: Andhra Pradesh geared up for more floods as a swollen Krishna river Monday inundated parts of Vijayawada city and threatened to
swamp 200 villages in Krishna and Guntur districts, while the overall flood situation continued to be grim in the rest of the state.

Many colonies along the left bank of Krishna river in Vijayawada city got submerged as the flood level touched four feet this evening. The situation is expected to remain grim till Wednesday as the flood discharge at Prakasam Barrage will continue to be over 11 lakh cusecs, officials said.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi undertook an aerial survey of the ravaged areas in Bellary district and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who accompanied her, said the state suffered an unprecedented damage exceeding Rs 20,000 crore.

Torrential rains left a trail of death and destruction in 15 districts of Karnataka damaging over two lakh houses in 1,467 villages subsided since Sunday.

Bijapur district bore the brunt of the rain fury with 31 deaths followed by Raichur and Bagalkote (26 each). Over 4.53 lakh people have been sheltered in 13,330 relief camps.

A 500 m-long bridge across Tungabhadra river, 32 km from Raichur, was washed away in flood waters, officials said.

The Krishna river experienced the heaviest flood since 1903, when it had 10.30 lakh cusecs of flood waters.

The water level touched 21.4 feet at Prakasam Barrage and all the 72 crest gates have been lifted to let out water into Bay of Bengal. Irrigation authorities said the current flood discharge at Nagarjuna Sagar has been reduced to 10.3 lakh cusescs from 11 lakh cusecs on Sunday.

The authorities are constantly monitoring the level at the Prakasam barrage across the Krishna river and they said if Monday night passed without much damage to the 200 villages downstream in the two districts the threat would be averted.

Officials are describing it as the worst flood in Krishna river in 100 years.

The focus of the flood threat has now shifted to the coastal areas. Kurnool and Mahbubnagar districts, which bore the brunt of the flood fury during the last four days, are struggling to come back to normalcy. Though the officials have put the death toll at 49, it could go up as dozens of people are still reported missing.

The weakening embankments at a few points along the river have raised the spectre of inundation of vast areas and authorities have mobilised 300,000 sand bags to strengthen the embankments.

The water level at the barrage, the last irrigation project across Krishna river before it falls in the Bay of Bengal, stands at 21.5 feet.

Though authorities said there was no threat to the barrage, the weakening embankments at a few points was worrying.

"There is three to four feet water in some areas in Vijayawada city and this may go up to six to seven feet later. We have already moved out of the area near the river," Suresh Kumar, a resident, told IANS.

Floods wreak havoc in Andhra, Karnataka, Goa; lakhs evacuated

HYDERABAD: Sixteen people were killed and over 4.5 lakh people evacuated after massive floods inundated parts of Andhra Pradesh as the state View of the submerged Kurnool town in Andhra Pradesh as the state government stepped up relief and rescue efforts with the help of 550 army personnel.

Though the number of deaths due to the floods is 16, the toll is likely to increase further, revenue minister D Prasada Rao said here on Saturday.

Rescue personnel evacuated 1.5 lakh people in Kurnool district, 1.34 lakh people in Mahaboobnagar district, 15,000 people in Krishna district and 5,000 flood victims in Guntur district.

About 105 relief camps have been started in the districts of Kurnool, Mahaboobnagar, Krishna, Guntur and Nalgonda to help those affected by the floods, Rao said.

Though the water level in the three worst-hit districts of Kurnool, Mahaboobnagar and Krishna has receded slightly, there is a need to stay on alert, he said.

Chief minister K Rosaiah said earlier in the day that the flood situation in Kurnool and Mahaboobnagar districts of Andhra Pradesh has improved with water levels receding.

Massive rescue and relief operation are being organised in the affected areas with seven helicopters, 550 army personnel and 165 personnel of National Disaster Response Force, 48 boats of (NDRF) and 90 boats of various agencies have been pressed into service.

The inflow of water in the Srisailam dam was 28 lakh cusecs and outflow was 14.04 lakh cusecs. The inflow water in to the Srisailam dam is likely to come down by the evening, which may provide relief to Kurnool district.

In Nagarjunasagar dam, the outflow of water was 8.06 lakh cusecs.

The revenue minister said lakhs of food and water sachets and other relief material are being distributed to the flood victims in all the districts.

K V P Ramachandra Rao, advisor to the state government, said several ministers are involved in relief and rescue efforts in various districts.

Havoc in Karnataka
BANGALORE: With 12 more fatalities reported today, the death toll due to flood fury triggered by torrential rains in north Karnataka rose to 118.

Twenty-seven people have died in Bijapur district, the worst-hit, followed by Raichur (21), Koppal (18), Gulbarga (16) and Bagalkote (13) since the past five days, official sources said.

Till recently, many talukas in these districts faced drought-like conditions.

Eleven people have died in Bellary district in rain-related incidents this week, while Belgaum and Gadag accounted for six and five lives respectively, police said.

Police said the toll might go up as information was not available from some of the rain-ravaged areas.

Hundreds of houses have been submerged and around 30,000 houses collapsed in pounding rains.

The situation, described as "unprecedented" in the northern region by chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, has prompted the state government to call out the Army, Navy and IAF personnel to facilitate rescue and relief operations.

Rivers in the region are in spate with flash floods throwing normal life out of gear, official sources said, adding, road and rail services have been severely hit in the affected areas .

Meanwhile, rains have abated in some of the districts which bore the brunt of havoc since last night, they said.

The state government has announced that it would build houses under Ashraya Scheme to those who have lost their dwellings.

The state government had yesterday released Rs 100 crore to take up rescue and relief operations on a war-footing.

IAF has pressed into service helicopters to assist in relief and rescue operations. The IAF aircrafts have been dropping relief materials, mainly food packets, in and around flood-hit areas and rescuing marooned people, police said.

The temple town of Mantralaya in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district bordering Raichur district in Karnataka, where the famous Raghavendraswamy mutt is located, was also submerged.

Rescue operations were in full swing at Kadawada village in Uttara Kannada district where a major landslip from a hillock has buried eight houses, officials said.

A team of police, navy and air force personnel was engaged in the exercise since last evening, they said.

A senior police official from the scene said ten to 15 people might have been trapped under the mounds, police said, adding, chances of their survival were very slim.

Rains lash Goa
PANAJI, GOA: As the incessant rains continued lashing the state today, several people remained trapped in their houses in the border taluka of Canacona where over 250 houses have collapsed so far in the flood.

State administration confirmed that other 400 houses were inundated due to rains which has been hitting the state for last three days.

Goa chief minister Digamber Kamat has rushed to the affected area where the district administration coupled with army and navy has initiated intense rescue operations.

Official figures confirmed the death of two people who were washed away in the flood waters.

Kamat last night addressing a press conference in the south district headquarters of Margao said that no efforts were spared to bring marooned people to safety.

The villages Poinguinim, Partagali, Delem, Agonda and Khotigao remained under water throughout night. The signs of monsoon receding seemed bleak as MET department predicted the showers to continue for next two days.


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12 persons die due to cyclonic winds and rains in Gujarat
5 October 2009

AHMEDABAD: As many as 12 persons have died after cyclonic winds with rain and thunderstorm lashed south Gujarat and Saurashtra regions of the state
in the last 24 hours, state control room officials said here on Monday.

These deaths have occurred in the last 24 hours due to wall collapse, felling of tree and being hit by lightning, they said.

Four persons including a woman and her two children died after being buried under a compound wall which collapsed following rain and strong winds in Taragdi village on the outskirts of Rajkot city on Sunday.

The incident took place in Taragdi village where the compound wall of Laxmanbhai Bachubahi's farm collapsed on four persons including two children. All four died on the spot.

Lightning claimed five lives in state, two each in Vadodara and Bharuch, and one in Tapi district, officials said.

Three persons including two children died, after a tree fell on their car near Vanthali town in Jundagadh district, they said.

The incident took place on the Vanthali-Junagadh road when five persons traveling in a car stopped on the roadside to avoid driving against strong winds. A tree fell on the car killing three persons on the spot.