Heavy rains caused by cyclonic storm Nilam have left a trail of destruction and thrown life out of gear in coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The state government announced on Saturday evening that nine people have been killed in rain-related incidents in different districts in the wake of the cyclonic storm and standing crop in 1.79 lakh hectares was damaged, as per preliminary estimates.
The government machinery has been put on high alert in the coastal districts of Srikakulam, east and west Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and SPS Nellore as moderate to isolated heavy rain has been forecast in coastal Andhra in the next 48 hours, officials said.
The forecast also stands good for Rayalaseema and parts of Telangana.
As many as 59 minor irrigation tanks have suffered breaches due to heavy rains, inundating crops at many places, officials said.
The Tammileru rivulet was flowing menacingly, causing flood in Eluru town due to discharge of 29,000 cusecs of water while in Vijayawada, 70 crest gates of Prakasam Barrage were opened to discharge about 90,000 cusecs of flood water into the Bay of Bengal, which may rise to one lakh cusecs later.
The Budameru rivulet is also under spate due to heavy inflow of flood water from catchments areas in Khammam and upstream mandals of Krishna district, official sources said.
Many low-lying areas in Vijayawada have been inundated while a much bigger flood threat looms over the city with the water level rising in Budameru.
"The situation turned from bad to worse because of heavy rains in the last two days," said Guntur District Collector S Suresh Kumar.
"Situation in Eluru is alarming," said West Godavari district Superintendent of Police M Ramesh said.
Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force, comprising 180 men, have been rushed to Eluru to assist the administration in evacuating people from low-lying areas.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was in Visakhapatnam on Saturday morning, reviewed the situation with Chief Secretary Minnie Mathew and asked her to closely monitor the situation.
He asked the administrative machinery to gear up to extend rescue and relief measures wherever necessary, a release from the Chief Minister's Office said.
In Prakasam district, 13 relief camps have been opened at four places where over 48,00 people have been provided shelter while one camp opened in East Godavari district.
Srikakulam district Collector Saurabh Gaur has asked people in 43 coastal villages to be on alert and move to safety.
A round-the-clock control room has been set up in the state secretariat to monitor rescue and relief operations.
Disaster Management Commissioner T Radha has sent a communication to all district collectors asking them to take "preventive and precautionary" measures.
Meanwhile, Krishna district on Saturday recorded 117 mm rains followed by Khammam (110), West Godavari (100), Guntur (66), Vizianagaram (60), East Godavari (56) and Srikakulam (40 mm).