Heavy rain kills 45 in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh

Last Updated: Thursday, October 1, 2009 - 18:24

Bangalore: At least 30 people have been killed in Karnataka and 15 in Andhra Pradesh due to heavy rain, officials said Thursday. The downpour has inundated several villages, damaged crops and has disrupted communication and transport links.

In Karnataka, the worst affected was Bijapur district, about 580 km north of Bangalore, with 17 deaths. The victims were either washed away in flooded rivers or died when their homes collapsed.

Belgaum, Koppal, Bellary, Raichur, Bagalkot and Bidar -- all in northern Karnataka -- are the other districts battered by the downpour which continued Thursday morning.

"Deaths have been reported from these districts also. We fear at least 30 people have lost their lives. We are awaiting detailed information from the affected places," a spokesperson for the Chief Minister said on Thursday.

"Rescue and relief operations are on in full swing in the affected areas. Ministers from these districts have cut short their presence at a brain-storming session near Mysore and rushed back to supervise the operations," he said.

Since late Wednesday, it has been raining in state capital Bangalore too. Meteorological officials said the conditions would remain the same till Friday.

In Andhra Pradesh, the rain has been incessant since Wednesday and has thrown normal life out of gear.

Several villages in Mahabubnagar and Kurnool districts were inundated as rivulets, streams and tanks were overflowing. Officials said at least 10 tanks in Mahabubnagar district had breached their banks.

Minister for Revenue and Relief Dharmana Prasad Rao told reporters after a high-level meeting to review the situation that so far 15 people were killed in various rain-related incidents.

Mahabubnagar district was the worst hit with seven deaths. Four people were killed in Kurnool district.

As many as 21 villages in Mahabubnagar district were marooned. Dozens of other villages in Mahabubnagar, Kurnool and Krishna districts were inundated as rivulets, streams and tanks were overflowing. Officials said at least 10 tanks in Mahabubnagar district had breached their banks.

Two people drowned in a rivulet in Alwaynpalli village near Jadcherla town in Mahabubnagar district, about 120 km from Hyderabad. Three other people were washed away in two different incidents in the same district, while one person died due to lightning in Karimnagar district, about 150 km from Hyderabad.

An Indian Air Force helicopter Wednesday rescued five students caught in flood waters in Mahabubnagar district.

Revenue officials have begun efforts to rescue people stranded in the low-lying areas.

Kurnool town, about 250 km from Hyderabad, and dozens of villages in Kurnool district were also inundated. In some of the affected areas in Kurnool town people were sitting on rooftops waiting for help.

Authorities in Kurnool district have evacuated about 12,000 people and have opened 21 relief camps.

The heavy rain also damaged roads, breaking the transport link to several villages. Electricity and communication lines were also damaged.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah held a high-level meeting here Thursday morning to review the situation. He directed officials to take measures to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

Since the weather office has warned of more rain over the next two days, especially in coastal Andhra and Telangana regions, the Chief Minister asked district collectors and other officials to be on high alert.


First Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009 - 18:24

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