Hyderabad: Heavy rains in coastal Andhra Pradesh have claimed 16 lives and damaged crops in over 100,000 acres even as the threat of cyclonic storm looms large over the state, officials said Tuesday.
Dozens of villages and residential areas in several towns remained inundated as rains continued to cause havoc in north and south coastal districts.
At least 16 people were killed in the rain-related incidents during the last three days, according to officials in the disaster management department.
The rains have affected 270 mandals (village blocks) in six districts and damaged 23,710 houses. The authorities have evacuated hundreds of people from low-lying areas and opened 73 relief camps.
The state government has requested the army, navy and air force to be ready for deployment of forces in case of necessity, said a statement from the chief minister`s office.
Even as the rains under the influence of a trough of low pressure in Bay of Bengal and vigorous northeast monsoon continue to wreak havoc in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Nellore districts, the state faces a threat of cyclonic storm.
Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre Tuesday forecast that depression in the Gulf of Thailand will reach south Andaman Sea by Tuesday evening and may intensify into a cyclonic storm. It is likely to hit the coast between south coastal Andhra and north Tamil Nadu in two to three days.
Under its impact, heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast over coastal Andhra and Andaman and Nicobar Islands till Thursday.
More rains have been forecast in coastal Andhra. Some places in north coastal districts may receive very heavy rains.
Strong gales with a speed of 45 to 50 kmph are already blowing along the coast. As the sea remains rough, the authorities have warned fishermen against venturing into the sea.
In the worst-hit Visakhapatnam district, several colonies in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam and dozens of villages remain inundated. The heavy rains have destroyed standing crops of paddy.
The heavy downpour has caused massive damage in the fertile districts of East and West Godavari district. Amalapuram in East Godavari recorded 31 cm rainfall during the 24 hours till Monday morning. It is the highest rainfall received by any single place during this year.
Tuni, Visakhapatnam, Anakapalli, Vizianagaram, Yellamanchili, Chodavaram, Penddapuram Koderu, Prattipadu and Machilipatnam received 10 to 19 cm rainfall.