15 killed in heavy rain in Andhra


Hyderabad : Heavy rain lashed Andhra Pradesh killing 15 people, inundating several villages, damaging crops and disrupting transport and communication links, officials said Thursday.

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The heavy rain, which has been incessant since Wednesday, was due to a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal. It continued to lash several parts of the state, throwing normal life out of gear.

Minister for Revenue and Relief Dharmana Prasad Rao told reporters after a high-level meeting to review the situation that so far 15 people were killed in various rain-related incidents.

Mahabubnagar district was the worst hit with seven deaths. Four people were killed in Kurnool district.

As many as 21 villages in Mahabubnagar district were marooned. Dozens of other villages in Mahabubnagar, Kurnool and Krishna districts were inundated as rivulets, streams and tanks were overflowing. Officials said at least 10 tanks in Mahabubnagar district had breached their banks.

Two people drowned in a rivulet in Alwaynpalli village near Jadcherla town in Mahabubnagar district, about 120 km from here. Three other people were washed away in two different incidents in the same district, while one person died due to lightning in Karimnagar district, about 150 km from here.

An Indian Air Force helicopter Wednesday rescued five students caught in flood waters in Mahabubnagar district.

Revenue officials have begun efforts to rescue people stranded in the low-lying areas.

Kurnool town, about 250 km from here, and dozens of villages in Kurnool district were also inundated. In some of the affected areas in Kurnool town people were sitting on rooftops waiting for help.

Authorities in Kurnool district have evacuated about 12,000 people and have opened 21 relief camps.

The heavy rain also damaged roads, breaking the transport link to several villages. Electricity and communication lines were also damaged.

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah held a high-level meeting here Thursday morning to review the situation. He directed officials to take measures to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

Since the weather office has warned of more rain over the next two days, especially in coastal Andhra and Telangana regions, the chief minister asked district collectors and other officials to be on high alert.