Cyclone Nilam: Death toll in AP reaches 22, CM monitors relief operations

22 people have been killed in rain-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh as heavy rains continued to batter several regions under the influence of `Cyclone Nilam`.

Hyderabad: 22 people have been killed in rain-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh as heavy rains continued to batter several regions under the influence of `Cyclone Nilam`.

Coastal Andhra Pradesh continued to bear the brunt of nature`s fury as villages and towns were inundated by swollen rivulets.

The rainfall was such that Narasapur in West Godavari district received a record 31 cms of rainfall in the last 24 hours, followed by 27 cms in Amalapuram, 25 cms in Rajahmundry (both in East Godavari district), 25 cms in Yelamanchili (Visakhapatnam dist), 23 cms in Koderu (West Godavari district).

Standing crops, including paddy, were affected in 2,43,634 hectares. The death toll in rain-related incidents like wall collapse and drowning rose to 22, state disaster management commissioner T Radha told reporters here today. The government has set up 86 relief camps in which about 68,000 people were provided shelter, he said.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy directed chief secretary Minnie Mathew to put all concerned departments on high alert and closely monitor the flood and heavy rains situation.

He reviewed the situation with the chief secretary and other senior officials from New Delhi over phone and asked them to make all efforts for relief and rescue measures. He also spoke to collectors of rain-hit districts, a release from the chief minister`s office said.

The Chief Minister directed that people from the low
lying areas of all districts to be evacuated wherever and whenever necessary and more relief camps be opened.

He asked the Chief Secretary and other officials to put the navy and other agencies on alert and see that people are evacuated if need be, by choppers and safety boats, the release said.

Reddy also told the officials that the victims be provided drinking water, food and other essential things.
Officials said houses were damaged -- 472 fully and 718 partially -- and 21 cattle also perished.

They said 495 kms of roads, 406 kms of drains, 107 kms water supply lines, 36 municipal buildings were damaged.

The cyclonic storm `Nilam` crossed the Tamil Nadu coast last week and gradually weakened into a low-pressure area and the present rains are a effect of the cyclone.

A number of villages and residential localities in towns like Eluru in West Godavari district, Rajahmundry and Kakinada in East Godavari district and also Visakhapatnam district and also Visakhapatnam were inundated.

The South Central Railway cancelled the Hyderabad-Howrah East Coast Express today.
As many as nine trains, including Tirupati- Visakhapatnam Tirumala Express, Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam Godavari Express, were also affected.

Three trains -- Secunderabad-Howrah Falaknuma Express, Chennai-Asansol Express and Bangalore - Bhubaneswar Prashanti Express have been diverted, SCR said in a release. Four other trains were rescheduled.

Main opposition TDP accused state government of having failed to take effective measures to provide relief to the people battered by the heavy rains.

The Chief Minister and other ministers were camping in
Delhi to participate in a rally at a time when the state was facing heavy rains, TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu alleged during his ongoing state-wide `padayatra` in Mahabubnagar district.

State BJP president G Kishan Reddy demanded that the Central teams should tour the affected areas immediately to estimate the losses and farmers be paid financial assistance for the losses.

Official sources said the Chief Minister would review the situation tomorrow morning with ministers and senior officials.

In the forecast and farmers` weather bulletin valid until the morning of November 6, the met office said moderate to heavy rain or thundershowers would occur at most places in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari in coastal Andhra, at many places in Telangana.

Isolated heavy to very heavy rains would occur in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts of coastal Andhra. Isolated heavy rain would occur in the remaining coastal districts and Telangana during next 48 hours, an official release said.

Meanwhile, East Godavari district collector Neetu Kumari Prasad today said that seven of those died in the wake of cyclonic storm were from the district.

She held a meeting with district officials and discussed relief measures to be taken including shifting the people living in the low-lying areas to safer places.

A committee has been formed to assess the damage caused to crops and property, she informed adding the enumeration work would commence shortly.

Union Minister for Human Resources Development MM Pallam Raju, who hails from the region, has asked the collector to take necessary measures to help the people. He also held telephonic talks with Revenue divisional officers of Kakinada, and Peddapuram.

The agency areas of the district, Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Tuni were flooded. The bus services to the agency areas remained suspended for the last two days while many areas in the district were facing power failure.

The Road traffic was badly affected on the national highway as many trees got uprooted and several vehicles were stranded.

The South-Central Railway has diverted/cancelled many train services as rail tracks were damaged in several parts in the district.

Allavaram Mandal recorded the highest rainfall of 290.6 mm over the last 24 hours while lowest rainfall of 58.4 mm was registered in Kirlamupudi mandal of the district.