NOVEMBER 21, 2021
Heavy rains triggered by a series of depressions in the Bay of Bengal led to the overflowing of rivers and water projects, causing flash floods in Chittoor, Kadapa, Anantapur, and Nellore over the last 72 hours. Life came to a standstill as thousands were left marooned while roads to several villages caved into the force of gushing water. The death toll in rain-related incidents in different districts of Andhra Pradesh touched 33 as more bodies were retrieved from the flooded streams and at least 12 people were reported missing.
As states in the southern peninsula continue to reel under the damages caused by heavy downpour, here are 10 highlights from the catastrophic Andhra Rains.
1. According to government data, the rain and the flood-related death count was 20 in Kadapa, seven in Anantapuramu, four in Chittoor and two in SPS Nellore. In the Nellore district, the body of an unidentified person was found near the Somasila reservoir. In Kadapa district, where 12 people were missing, crops on hundreds of acres were destroyed, heads of cattle washed away and tens of houses in villages were reduced to rubble as flash floods due to a breach of the Annamayya project’s earthen bund on Cheyyeru river caused havoc.
2. The temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh was the worst affected with incessant flooding and fresh fears around cracks developing in of the biggest water reservoirs in the state that is located in the town. No fresh downpour however was reported.
3. In the Chittoor district, a large volume of water from upstream and from Tirumala Hills led to the Swarnamukhi river going into spate, filling the reservoirs and causing flooding. The soil in the reservoirs has become hyper-saturated with water.
4. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) 10th battalion deployed two teams each at Rajampet and Tirupati and three in Nellore district. Two teams of NDRF 3rd Battalion were kept on standby at Visakhapatnam.
5. The Chennai-Kolkata National Highway-16 remained cut off for traffic between Nellore and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh as was the Chennai grand trunk rail route severing the all-important link between the southern and eastern and northern parts of the country. According to the South Central Railway, more than 100 express trains were cancelled because of the damage caused to the railway tracks near Nellore and 29 more diverted.
6. A chopper that was deployed to carry out rescue operations for 10 people stranded on a JCB excavator in the middle of torrential floods in Anantapur made headlines yesterday. 12 people who had taken shelter on top of three buses in the Rajampet Mandal of Kadapa district could not be rescued and are feared dead.
7. The floods have damaged the roads at many places and rail, road and air traffic have been hit. Kadapa airport will remain closed till November 25.
8. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Sunday condoled the loss of lives in floods in Andhra Pradesh and urged party workers to extend all possible help to those affected. “Floods have been causing serious damage in Andhra Pradesh. My condolence to those who’ve lost loved ones,” Gandhi said on Twitter. “Dear Congress workers, please help in all ways possible,” he also said. Floods have caused extensive damage in Andhra Pradesh
9. Five people, including three children and an aged woman, died in the Kadiri town of Anantapur district after an old three-story building collapsed due to heavy rains
10. Rains have caused disruptions in Tamil Nadu and Kerala as well. In Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, the pilgrimage to Pamba and Sabarimala tomorrow has been prohibited because of rising water levels in the Pamba river.