Over 70000 people hit by floods in Andhra Pradesh as Godavari still in spate

By Express News Service

ELURU/KAKINADA/KURNOOL/VIJAYAWADA: There is no let down in the flood situation in the twin Godavari districts, with heavy inflows continuing in the river following heavy rains in the upper catchment areas.  Around 400 villages in both the districts are inundated with floodwater and officials are making every effort to shift people to safer locations. 

On the other hand, the Srisailam project on Krishna river continues to receive copious inflows from Jurala Project and at 7 pm. on Sunday, the water levels crossed 857.6 feet and the volume of water in the project stood at 98.90 TMC. 

With the water levels increasing and continuing to inundate scores of villages in Devipatnam and other mandals, the authorities have sounded the second warning bell and are shifting people from the vulnerable villages. Ban on bathing in the river at Pushkar Ghat in Rajamahendravaram continues.

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At 8 pm on Sunday, the water-level at Dowleswaram Barrage was around 14.20 feet with the floodwater being let out from 175 gates of the barrage, with the discharge being 13,58,163 cusecs and the inflows at the barrage being recorded to be the same. Irrigation department officials are expecting the flood levels to increase further, before receding, as the water levels at Bhadrachalam in Telangana were reported to be receding on Sunday evening.

With river flowing at danger levels at Polavaram, 19 Agency villages in Polavaram mandal of West Godavari district remain cut off. In Devipatnam of East Godavari district alone, in more than 32 villages, floodwater has entered houses, but the people are not willing to leave. 

“Rescue operations are being hampered due to the non-cooperation from the people of flood-affected areas in Devipatnam mandal. Rescue teams from revenue, police and disaster management are trying to evacuate around 5,000 people from this mandal, but they decline to move out of their houses,” said Nishant Kumar, Project Officer, ITDA, Rampachodavaram, who is overseeing the flood relief works in Agency areas.

Speaking to mediapersons on Sunday evening, East Godavari district (collector) D Muralidhar Reddy said that normal life in the district was affected due to floods in Godavari river. As many as 18,809 people were affected due to floods in 32 villages of Devipatnam mandal, 32 villages in Yetapaka mandal, 36 villages in Amalapuram and other mandals in Konaseema were affected. 

As many as 85 relief camps were set up in the district and at present 3,500 people from flood-affected areas are taking shelter and several thousands more, who were shifted have returned after having food.  A control room has been set up at the district collectorate in Kakinada to monitor the situation and render assistance round the clock. Standing crop of paddy in 2,125 hectares is submerged and the extent of damage could only be assessed after the flood recedes. 

According to APSDMA and RTGS, roads connecting 19 villages in East Godavari, upstream of Polavaram project, are damaged. Yedduvagu and Siddaramavagu bridges in West Godavari district were submerged. A total of 10 houses in both districts were damaged. However, there has been no loss of life.  A total of 280 villages in 24 mandals of both the districts were affected. As many as 47 medical camps were organized in the West Godavari district. 

Though IMD Hyderabad withdrew its heavy rainfall warning, the possibility of low pressure area formation in the Bay of Bengal in the next 48 hours still exists. On Sunday, there were light to moderate rains in North Coastal districts and some parts of Agency region in twin Godavari districts. On the other hand, copious inflows into Srisailam project on Krishna river continued from Jurala.

At 7 pm  inflows at the project stood at 2,27,962 cusecs and outflows were at 2,400 cusecs through Kalwakurthy lift on the Telangana side. Farmer associations in Rayalaseema region demanded the release of Krishna river through Muchumarri lift to help them in Kharif cultivation. Meanwhile irrigation officials are hoping for inflows to Sunkesula from Tungabhadra dam in the next couple of days. 

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