New Delhi/ Bangalore/Hyderabad: The Centre on Sunday rushed more than 250 specially trained NDRF personnel alongwith additional 80
inflatable boats to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as the death
toll due to torrential rains and rampaging floods in the two
states soared to 230.
Retreating monsoon claimed 12 more lives today even as relief operations were on in full swing in the two states to provide succour to the affected.
Karnataka accounted for 168 fatalities, Andhra Pradesh 37
and Maharashtra 25 as heavy downpours ravaged the three states
flattening over two lakh homes, extensively damaging crops and
uprooting lakhs of people.
In view of the grim situation of the floods, Union Home
Minister P Chidambaram will also undertake an aerial survey of
the two states tomorrow for an assessment of the damage caused
by the natural disaster.
Chidamabaram, who is currently in Tamil Nadu, is also
expected to hold meetings with the Chief Ministers of both the
states -– B S Yeddyurappa (Karnataka) and K Rosaiah (Andhra
Pradesh) -- and other top officials in Bangalore and
Hyderabad, official sources here said.
Monitoring the overall situation from the national
capital, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai, Secretary (Border
Management) Vinay Kumar and senior officers of the National
Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) are in constant touch
with the state agencies, sources said.
According to officials, the Army, Navy and Air Force are
also assisting in relief and rescue operations and undertaking
distribution of food, drinking water etc in the affected
NDRF personnel along with boats are being dispatched to
the affected areas from Bathinda (Punjab), Noida, Pune,
Arakkonam(Tamil Nadu) and Mundali (Orissa), they said.
After wreaking havoc, rains showed signs of let up in
Karnataka even as Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa appealed to
the Centre to declare the worst flooding in the state as a
a national disaster.
He sought Rs 10,000 crore assistance for relief measures
and rebuilding the 15 rain-ravaged districts.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah conducted an
aerial survey of the flood-battered areas and said the
situation was alarming in Krishna and Guntur districts where
many villages faced inundation.
The flood situation in Kurnool and Mahbubnagar districts,
however, was under control, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister
said as army troops rescued the marooned stranded on rooftops
of submerged houses.
IAF choppers dropped food packets and water sachets in
the devastated areas as the officials said over 13 lakh people
had been hit in five districts in the state due to the worst
flooding in more than 100 years in the Krishna river basin.
They said the monsoon fury had so far claimed 16 lives in
Mahabubnagar, 15 in Kurnool, three in Krishna, two in Nalgonda
and one in Guntur.
In Karnataka, where the death count had climbed to 168,
heavy rains and surging waters had flattened homes displacing
nearly 1,77,400 people who had taken shelter in relief camps.
Home Minister V S Acharya said in Bangalore the death
toll was likely to mount as 21 people were feared buried under
the rubble of homes destroyed in a landslide unleashed by the
rains at Karwar in Uttara Kannada district.
Eight helicopters and 73 boats had been engaged in relief
and rescue operations in the state, he said.
"Arrangements have been made to air drop food packets to
the marooned and 21,200 such packets have already been dropped
in Bellary and Bagalkot districts," the Home Minister said.
While 19 trained personnel and 20 inflatable boats are
being airlifted from Palam airbase in the national capital to
Vijaywada (Krishna district), 250 other men and 60 inflatable
boats of NDRF are being sent from Gandhinagar, sources said.
According to the Home Ministry, 694 rescue personnel of
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) alongwith 173
inflatable motorised boats have been deployed in the districts
of Kurnool, Krishna and Mehboob Nagar of Andhra Pradesh and
249 NDRF men along with 73 inflatable motorised boats have
been deployed in the districts of Bagalkote, Raichur, Gadag
and Bijapur of Karnataka.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has allocated an amount of
Rs 139.36 crore to the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) for
Karnataka for 2009-10, comprising Rs 104.52 crore as central
contribution and Rs 34.84 crore as state contribution.
An amount of Rs 418.22 crore has been allocated in the
CRF for Andhra Pradesh for 2009-10, comprising Rs 313.66 crore
as central contribution and Rs 104.56 crore as state