Rains claim 16 lives, damage crops in Andhra

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

HYDERABAD - Heavy rains have claimed 16 lives in coastal Andhra Pradesh since the last two days and have caused widespread damage to standing crops, an official said Wednesday.

South coastal Andhra districts received heavy rains as a depression in the Bay of Bengal crossed the coast near Bapatla Wednesday morning.

According to an officials of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the depression was centred 50 km northwest of Bapatla and would move north-westwards for some more time before gradually weakening.

Heavy rains and thundershowers have been forecast in north coastal Andhra during the next 24 hours till Thursday morning.

Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Orissa too may receive heavy rainfall during the next 48 hours till Friday morning, an IMD bulletin said.

Squally winds with speed reaching up to 60 kmph are likely along the Andhra coast.

As sea conditions remained rough, fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea.

Rescue workers Wednesday recovered 12 bodies from a stream near Vinukonda in Guntur district as heavy rains swelled the water body and overturned the vehicle they were travelling in.

Four people were killed in various rain-related incidents in Prakasam and Guntur districts since the past two days.

The rains have damaged crops over 3.2 lakh hectares in five districts, dealing a big blow to farmers even before they could recover from the losses suffered due to recent cyclones.

The rains also damaged tanks and roads, leading to inundation of low-lying areas and affecting the movement of vehicular traffic.

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