Central team tours flood-hit areas of Andhra as heavy rain lashes few districts

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Moderate to heavy rain lashed several parts of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh since Friday evening, as a seven-member inter-ministerial team of the Central government began touring the rain-ravaged areas of Rayalaseema and south coastal Andhra on Saturday.

According to the official bulletin from the AP State Development and Planning Society, Irugulam of Satyavedu block in Chittoor district bordering Tamil Nadu received rainfall of 7.2 cm in the last 24 hours. Since Saturday morning till 5 pm, it witnessed rainfall of 4 cm.

There was rainfall of 2.3 cm in Chittoor town, 2.2 cm in Yadamarri block, 2.1 cm in Nagari and 2.0 cm in Puttur. Many other parts of the district received 1 cm to 1.9 cm in the last 24 hours.

A weather bulletin from the India Meteorological Department, Amaravati said that south coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are going to witness light to moderate rain or thundershowers at a few places, while heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at isolated places. Thunderstorms accompanied with lightning are likely to occur at isolated places in Rayalaseema.

Another bulletin from the Cyclone Warning Centre, Visakhapatnam, said squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-60 km per hour is very likely over southwest Bay of Bengal. “Fishermen are advised not to venture into the above sea areas till December 1,” the bulletin said.

On Saturday, the Central team headed by Kunal Satyarthi from the Ministry of Home Affairs, began its tour of the flood-affected areas, starting from Chittoor. The team also includes Abhey Kumar from the finance ministry, Dr K Manoharan from the department of agriculture, Srinivasu Bairy from the water resources department, Shivani Sharma from the ministry of power, Shravan Kumar Singh from the ministry of roadways and Anil Kumar Singh from the ministry of rural development.

The Central team inspected the flooded farmlands, damaged check dams and national highways at various places in Chandragiri assembly and other constituencies in Chittoor district.

Earlier, the team had an interaction with state government officials at a private hotel in Chittoor to get the version of the government. State revenue and disaster management principal secretary Usha Rani gave a power point presentation of the flood-hit areas and the damages incurred due to heavy rainfall between November 13 and 20.

She explained how unprecedented rainfall ranging from 15 cm to 20 cm in Rayalaseema had destroyed road network in the region, besides causing breaches to several tanks constructed during the reign of Vijayanagara emperors.

“The breach caused to Annamayya project in Kadapa district, led to inundation of several villages and the loss of over 20 lives, she said, adding that in all, 44 people had died and another 15 were still missing in Nellore, Kadapa, Chittoor and Anantapur districts,” Usha Rani said, and asked for liberal assistance from the Centre towards relief and restoration work.

The Central team asked the state government to submit a detailed sector-wise report of loss of properties, besides crop loss. “We shall tour the affected areas to get first-hand information about the losses and submit a report to the Centre for necessary action,” Satyarthi said.

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