Two killed, crops damaged as rains lash Andhra

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

HYDERABAD - Two people were killed in incidents of wall collapse as widespread rains lashed many parts of Andhra Pradesh Tuesday under the influence of a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal.

The heavy rains since Monday night inundated low-lying areas, brought normal life to a standstill and caused massive damage to standing crops in coastal Andhra, officials said.

According to Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, the deep depression lay centred at 250 km from Machilipatnam and is likely to cross the coast near Kavali between Ongole and Nellore Tuesday night.

Heavy rains have been forecast in coastal Andhra and Telangana over the next couple of days. Heavy winds with a speed of 50 to 60 km are also likely along the coast.

Authorities have hoisted the third warning signal at all ports and fishermen have been advised not to venture out into the sea.

State Minister for Revenue and Relief Raghuveera Reddy, who reviewed the situation at a meeting here, said the army, navy and National Disaster Response Force were asked to stand by for any contingency.

One person was killed in Prakasam and one in West Godavari districts in two separate incidents of wall collapse due to heavy rains.

Widespread rains continued in coastal districts of East and West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore. Low-lying areas were inundated as many rivulets, streams and tanks were overflowing.

The rains have caused massive damage to crops. Over 80,000 hectares of crops, mainly paddy, were damaged in the five districts. This comes as a big blow to farmers, who are yet to recover from damages caused by last month’s cyclone Jal and the earlier cyclonic storm Laila.

Raghuveera Reddy said officials in all coastal districts were alerted and asked to take all measures to minimise the loss of life and property.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is away in New Delhi, reviewed the situation with top officials over phone. He is to hold a review meeting at the state secretariat Tuesday night after his return.

The government has appointed special officers to supervise rescue and relief work in Krishna, Prakasam, Guntur and Nellore districts.

will not be displayed