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Million people displaced, over 230 dead

Last updated on: October 5, 2009 18:35 IST

Million people displaced, over 230 dead

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Mohammad Siddique with agency inputs

Heavy rains and floods over the past week have wreaked havoc in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and claimed over 230 lives and displaced over a million people.

Despite a lull in rains over the last 24 hours, the situation in flood-hit north Karnataka remains grim.

The death toll in Karnataka alone has crossed 180.

Over 3,00,000 people have been displaced in 14 districts of the state.

Image: Rescue operations on in flood-hit Karnataka and AP

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Karnataka seeks Rs 10,000 cr aid

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Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has asked the Centre to declare the unprecedented rainfall and flood situation as a national calamity and has demanded the Centre to release Rs 10,000 crore for relief activities.

He submitted the details of the devastation created by the rain and floods in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Yeddyurappa, who is on a tour to the rain-affected districts, told media persons that the Centre had extended all assistance to the state in the form of helicopters, boats and National Disaster Response Force teams to carry out relief and rescue operations.

Image: People use a rescue raft as they wade through floodwaters

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1 lakh houses to be rebuilt in Karnataka

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The Karnataka chief minister reiterated his appeal for Rs 10,000 crore central aid for carrying out relief measures before Home Minister P Chidambaram and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who were scheduled to conduct an aerial survey of the district on Monday.

Yeddyurappa said he would also seek help from other states to tackle the flood situation.

He said the government, to begin with, had decided to build one lakh houses for those whose dwellings had collapsed or had been damaged in flood waters.

Private institutions like JSS, Jindal Group and Art of Living Foundation have come forward to build 5,000 houses each while Sri Manjunatha Trust of Dharmasthala has volunteered to build 10,000 houses for the homeless, the chief minister said.

Image: An aerial view shows the flood-affected areas of Karnataka

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In Andhra Pradesh, situation is still grim

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In Andhra Pradesh, though the flood situation is improving in Kurnool and Mahaboobnagar districts, but hundreds of villages in Krishna, Guntur and Nalgonda are still inundated.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday undertook an aerial survey of Kurnool and Mahabubnagar.

The state government has announced an exgratia of one lakh rupees to the families of victims and immediate assistance in cash and kind to the families who lost their homes.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah on Monday urged the Centre to consider areas hit by the devastating floods as a national calamity.

Image: Flood-affected people stand on top of a building in the flooded areas of Mantralaya district of Andhra Pradesh

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Andhra Pradesh wants Rs 6,000 cr aid

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Rosaiah also demanded the release of Rs 6,000 crore as relief for the flood-affected regions.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rosaiah said the preliminary estimate of damages due to heavy rains and floods arrives at Rs 12,225 crore.

He noted that the Srisailam Right Bank powerhouse is under inundation and 770 MW generation capacity is lost for three-four months. About 574 minor irrigation tanks have been breached.

He also asked the officials take up relief, rehabilitation and restoration works on war footing basis.


Image: Broken roads on the way to Kurnool district

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Floods cost Andhra Pradesh Rs 12,000 cr

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Authorities in Andhra Pradesh have put the losses in the floods at more than Rs 12,000 crore in the worst ever floods in the history of the state.

In his report to Congress chief Sonia, Rosaiah said the state had suffered massive losses in almost all the sectors.

While the damage to the road and power sector alone was Rs 10,000 crore, standing crop worth over Rs 1000 crore was also destroyed by the floods in river Krishna and Tungabhadra.

The loss of livestock was put at Rs 270 crore and to the fisheries was Rs 100 crore.

As thousands of houses had collapsed or suffered damages, the losses were estimate at Rs 300 crore. The relief and rescue operations, including provision of food and shelter has also cost the government Rs 500 crore.

About 750 minor irrigation tanks have developed breaches in the affected district. The damage to the irrigation projects in the five districts alone was estimated at Rs 1500 crore.

Image: Aerial shot of flood-affected Kurnool district

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Water level coming down, toll rising

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State Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasad Rao said more than two lakh people were in relief camps and the army and that the civil administration was busy in bringing out the people from vulnerable areas including Ibrahimpatnam, Avanigadda, Jaggaiahpeta mandals of Krishna and Amravathy and Tallur mandals in Guntur.

However, the situation in the worst hit districts of Kurnool and Mehbubnagar was slowly improving with the water level in river Krishna showing decreasing trend.

One of the 12 gates of Srisailam reservoir has been closed and other gates have been lowered as the inflow of water in to the project from upper reaches has come down.

Officials put the death toll at 60 as two children drowned in Avanigadda in Krishna district on Monday when during an evacuation operation, a boat carrying 13 people capsized. Eleven people were rescued.


Image: Aerial photograph of the Srisalam Dam

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National Highway 7 is shut

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Some of the blocks in Mahabubnagar and Kurnool districts had a rainfall of over 30 cm in a day, from the last one week leading to heavy inflows into major projects located in Krishna basin like Jurala, Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar, Prakasam barrage and Sunkesula.

About 30,000 flood victims have taken shelter in 64 relief camps in Guntur district.

District Collector, P S R Anjaneyulu has assured food and clean drinking water to the inmates of the camps and appealed to all people living in 64 vulnerable villages in 15 taluks along the 300 km river to vacate their homes.

With Prakasham Barrage discharging more than 10 lakh cusecs of water during the day, water has entered in several low lying villages of Avanigadda and six other mandals of Krishna river.

As the sea was also on the rise on account of full moon days, flow of river Krishna in to Bay of Bengal in Diviseema was low, further increasing the level of water in the areas.

Because of the flood in and around Vijaywada city, the National Highway Number 7 connecting it to Hyderabad was also closed down. In Guntur where the historic place of Amaravathy and several other mandals were hit by the floods, road transport was badly affected.

Image: Rain floods National Highway 7

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Rescue and repair operations are on

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Officials said more than 2.5 lakh people were evacuated to safer places in the two districts alone. In Krishna district, lakhs of sand bags were used to strengthen the bunds of river Krishna at the places where it had become weak and vulnerable to breach.

Media persons, covering the flood battered areas, spotted two persons perched on a tree near Regullagadda village crying for help. The media persons alerted the authorities to rescue them.

Some villagers have taken shelter atop hillocks as their villages have been inundated in the district. The Pulichintala project, under construction, on the river Krishna is completely submerged.

Ten lakh cusecs of water in the swollen Krishna river has cascaded from the Prakasam barrage at Vijayawada down the stream and grave concern is expressed about the ability of the flood banks to withstand the fierce pounding by the swirling river.

Though engineers have assured the public that the flood banks were designed to take 11 lakh cusecs of water, they are not complacent. The engineers have started strengthening the weak points in the flood banks.

Image: An IAF rescue team member prepares to lift a flood victim from a flooded area

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Goa, Maharashtra, Orissa and Kerala are also hit

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Heavy rains have also lashed the districts in Konkan and southern Maharashtra.

In Goa, large parts of the state are lashed with heavy rains for the third day with people remaining indoors. According to sources, over 250 houses have collapsed in the state in last one week.

In Kerala, flash flood has affected normal life at 6 places in Kozhikode district. Landslides were also reported at many places in the district.

In Orissa, floodwater is receding fast in Balasore and Bhadrak districts. But, Jalaka, Kansabansa, Sona and Budhabalanga rivers are still flowing above the danger level.

The Indian Air Force has deployed eight MI-8 and six Chetak helicopters for the rescue and relief operations in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The Army has deployed 600 personnel and about 1000 swimmers and 260 boats for rescue operations in flood hit areas.


Image: Heavy rains wreak havoc in Goa

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