Heavy rains lash Andhra, six killed, crops damage in over thousands of acres

Hyderabad: Heavy rains continued to batter three districts of Andhra Pradesh, killing at least six people, damaging crops in over thousands of acres and paralysing vehicular transport, officials said on Tuesday.

Chittoor, Nellore and Kadapa districts bordering Tamil Nadu received heavy rains for the second day on Tuesday, inundating dozens of villages and disrupting road and rail transport.

The rains, under the impact of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, resulted in large-scale damage to crops, besides wreaking havoc in Tamil Nadu.

Officials said 14,000 people were shifted to relief camps in Nellore and Chittoor districts.

Flash floods also claimed the lives of 80 cattle and damaged 80 houses. For the second day, all educational institutions in Chittoor district remained closed.

Rivers, rivulets, tanks and streams in the affected districts overflowed. In Nellore district, 40 villages were marooned.

Officials said at least 100 tanks have been breached.

Hundreds of vehicles were stranded as national and state highways passing through the districts were damaged.

The Indian Railways cancelled several trains between Nellore, Tirupati and Chennai as tracks were submerged at a few places.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel rescued passengers from a bus and a car in Nellore district.

Six NDRF teams were pressed into service to rescue people caught in flood waters in the district.

Two helicopters flying from Chennai dropped food packets in the marooned villages.

Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana earlier told reporters in Nellore that 10,000 food packets were ready for air-dropping in the marooned villages.

Traffic between Vijayawada and Chennai came to a halt as part of the Chennai-Kolkata national highway was washed away in Nellore district.

For the second time in three days, the Mumbai-Nellore highway was breached by the authorities to make way for flood waters which had entered some villages.

The highway at Naidupeta-Sullurpeta was also flooded, disrupting vehicular traffic between Tirupati and Kanchipuram.

Eight mandals in Chittoor district received 20 cm rainfall since Monday. Some places in Nellore district received as high as 30 cm rainfall.

Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari districts were also receiving heavy rains since Monday night, damaging standing crops.

With the Met office forecasting more rains over the next two days, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed officials to be on alert and take all measures to prevent loss of lives.

He said very heavy rainfall in a short period triggered floods. He announced Rs.5 lakh compensation each for the families of those killed.