Andhra floods claim 21 lives


Hyderabad : Heavy rains and floods in Andhra Pradesh have claimed 21 lives during last three days even as state authorities Wednesday intensified relief operations in the affected areas.

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Nellore, which is the worst affected district, accounted for maximum deaths (16) while four persons were killed in Kadpa district, and one in Chittoor district.

For the third consecutive day, the normal life remained paralysed in Nellore and adjoining three districts. Dozens of villages were inundated while the transport and communication networks were severely hit.

Minister for Revenue and Relief Dharmana Prasad Rao told reporters that 63,000 people were shifted to relief camps and the district authorities have intensified relief operations in the marooned villages.

Admitting that there was some delay in launching the rescue and relief operations, he said efforts were intensified Wednesday to provide relief to the affected.

“Wherever possible the officials are trying to provide food and other relief material through buses. If the affected areas are not accessible by roads, we are trying to reach there by boats, and in certain areas where we can’t reach by boats, the food packets are being dropped by helicopters,” he said.

According to Visakhaptanam cyclone warning centre, the low-pressure area remained stationary in the Bay of Bengal keeping the monsoon vigorous.

It forecasts more rains in north and south coastal Andhra, Rayalseema and parts of Telangana over the next 24 hours.